The tragedy of September 11, 2001, goes far beyond the deaths of those who died in the towers and the deaths of firefighters and first responders who succumbed to illnesses caused by inhalation of toxic dust.  For thirteen years a new generation of Americans has been born into the 9/11 myth that has been used to create the American warfare/police state.

The corrupt Bush and Obama regimes used 9/11 to kill, maim, dispossess and displace millions of Muslims in seven countries, none of whom had anything whatsoever to do with 9/11.

  • A generation of Americans has been born into disdain and distrust of Muslims.
  • A generation of Americans has been born into a police state in which privacy and constitutional protections no longer exist.
  • A generation of Americans has been born into continuous warfare while needs of citizens go unmet.
  • A generation of Americans has been born into a society in which truth is replaced with the endless repetition of falsehoods.

According to the official story, on September 11, 2001, the vaunted National Security State of the World’s Only Superpower was defeated by a few young Saudi Arabians armed only with box cutters.  The American National Security State proved to be totally helpless and was dealt the greatest humiliation ever inflicted on any country claiming to be a power.

That day no aspect of the National Security State worked.  Everything failed.

The US Air Force for the first time in its history could not get interceptor jet fighters into the air.

The National Security Council failed.

All sixteen US intelligence agencies failed as did those of America’s NATO and Israeli allies.

Air Traffic Control failed.

Airport Security failed four times at the same moment on the same day. The probability of such a failure is zero.

If such a thing had actually happened, there would have been demands from the White House, from Congress, and from the media for an investigation.  Officials would have been held accountable for their failures. Heads would have rolled.

Instead, the White House resisted for one year the 9/11 families’ demands for an investigation.  Finally, a collection of politicians was assembled to listen to the government’s account and to write it down.  The chairman, vice chairman, and legal counsel of the 9/11 Commission have said that information was withheld from the commission, lies were told to the commission, and that the commission “was set up to fail.”  The worst security failure in history resulted in not a single firing. No one was held responsible.

Washington concluded that 9/11 was possible because America lacked a police state.

The PATRIOT Act, which was awaiting the event was quickly passed by the congressional idiots.  The Act established executive branch independence of law and the Constitution.  The Act and follow-up measures have institutionalized a police state in “the land of the free.”

Osama bin Laden, a CIA asset dying of renal failure, was blamed despite his explicit denial.  For the next ten years Osama bin Laden was the bogyman that provided the excuse for Washington to kill countless numbers of Muslims. Then suddenly on May 2, 2011, Obama claimed that US Navy SEALs had killed bin Laden in Pakistan.  Eyewitnesses on the scene contradicted the White House’s story.  Osama bin Laden became the only human in history to survive renal failure for ten years.  There was no dialysis machine in what was said to be bin Laden’s hideaway.  The numerous obituaries of bin Laden’s death in December 2001 went down the memory hole. And the SEAL team died a few weeks later in a mysterious helicopter crash in Afghanistan. The thousands of sailors on the aircraft carrier from which bin Laden was said to have been dumped into the Indian Ocean wrote home that no such burial took place.

The fairy tale story of bin Laden’s murder by Seal Team Six served to end the challenge by disappointed Democrats to Obama’s nomination for a second term.  It also freed the “war on terror” from the bin Laden constraint.  Washington wanted to attack Libya, Syria, and Iran, countries in which bin Laden was known not to have organizations, and the succession of faked bin Laden videos, in which bin Laden grew progressively younger as the fake bin Laden claimed credit for each successive attack, had lost credibility among experts.

Watching the twin towers and WTC 7 come down, it was obvious to me that the buildings were not falling down as a result of structural damage.  When it became clear that the White House had blocked an independent investigation of the only three steel skyscrapers in world history to collapse as a result of low temperature office fires, it was apparent that there was a coverup.

After 13 years people at home and abroad find the government’s story less believable.

The case made by independent experts is now so compelling that mainstream media has opened to it.

Here is Richard Gage of Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth on C-SPAN:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Zbv2SvBEec#t=23

After years of persistence a group in New York has secured the necessary number of valid signatures to put on the ballot a vote to investigate the cause of the collapse of the three WTC buildings.  The official account, if correct, means that existing fire and building codes are insufficient to protect the public and that all other steel high rise structures are subject to the same failure.  The group has been clever to frame the issue in terms of public safety and not in terms of 9/11 truth.

New York authorities, of course, continue to oppose the initiative.  The question now rests on a judge’s ruling.  It is difficult to imagine a judge going against the government in such a major way, but the group will have made the point that the government has no confidence in the truth of its own story.

Over these 13 years, physicists, chemists, architects, engineers, pilots, and first responders have provided massive evidence that completely disproves the official account of the failure of the three skyscrapers.  The response to experts has been for non-experts to call experts “conspiracy theorists.”  In other words, the defenders of the government’s story have no scientific or factual basis on which to stand.  So they substitute name-calling.

9/11 was used to fundamentally alter the nature of the US government and its relationship to the American people.  Unaccountable executive power has replaced due process and the checks and balances established by the US Constitution.  In the name of National Security, executive power knows no restraints.  Essentially, Americans today have no rights if the government targets them.

Those Americans born after 9/11 were born into a different country from the rest of us. Having never experienced constitutional government, they will not know what they have lost.

The anthrax attacks of October 2001 have been forgotten, but Professor Graeme MacQueen in The 2001 Anthrax Deception (Clarity Press, 2014) shows that the anthrax attacks played an essential role in setting the stage for the government’s acquisition of unaccountable police state power.  Two Democratic Senate committee chairmen, Thomas Daschle and Patrick Leahy, were disturbed by the Bush regime’s overreach for carte blanche power, and were in a position to block the coming police state legislation  and the ability of the executive branch alone to take America to war.

Both senators received anthrax letters, as did major news organizations. The TV network news anchors, such as Dan Rather, who compared the collapse of WTC skyscrapers to buildings brought down by controlled demolition, had not yet been fired by Republicans on framed-up charges.

Initially, the anthrax letters, which caused the deaths of some USPS employees, were seen as the second stage of the 9/11 attack.  Fear multiplied. The senators and media shut up.  Then it was discovered that the anthrax was a unique kind produced only by a US government military facility.

The response to this monkey wrench thrown into the government’s propaganda, was the FBI’s frame-up of a dead man, Bruce Edwards Ivins, who had been employed in the military lab that produced the anthrax and was driven to suicide by the false charges.  The dead man’s colleagues did not believe one word of the government’s false story, and nothing in the dead man’s past indicated any motive or instability that would have led him to such a deed.

Initially, the US government tried to frame up Steven Jay Hatfill, but despite the best efforts of the New York Times and Nicholas Kristof the attempt to frame Hatfill failed.  Hatfill received $5 million from the US government for the false accusation that ruined his life. So the corrupt US government moved on to Ivins.

Ivins was dead and couldn’t defend himself, but his colleagues did.

The entire episode stinks to high heaven.  Justice is something that exists outside the borders of the United States. Never expect to find justice within the United States.

Most Americans are unaware of the extent to which the federal government owns the experts who can contradict its fairy tales.  For example, no competent physicist can possibly believe the official story of the destruction of the three WTC buildings.  But physics departments in US universities are heavily dependent on federal money. Any physicist who speaks his mind jeopardizes not only his own career but also the career of all of his colleagues.  Physicist Steven Jones, who first pointed to the use of thermite in the destruction of the two towers had to agree to having his university buy out his tenure or his university was faced with losing all federal financing.

The same constraints operate in the private sector.  High rise architects and structural engineers who express doubts about the official explanation of the collapse of three skyscrapers are viewed by potential clients as Muslim apologists and conspiracy kooks.

The clients, of course, have no expert knowledge with which to assess the issue, but they are indoctrinated with ceaseless, endless, repetition that 9/11 was Osama bin Laden’s attack on America. Their indoctrination makes them immune to facts.

The 9/11 lie has persisted for 13 years.  Millions of Muslims have paid for this lie with their lives, the destruction of their families, and with their dislocation.  Most Americans remain comfortable with the fact that their government has destroyed in whole or part seven countries based on a lie Washington told to cover up an inside job that launched the crazed neoconservatives’ drive for Washington’s World Empire.

When will 9/9, the day of the release of the new IPhone and Watch replace 9/11 in the consciousness of Americans who put consumption way ahead of civil activism?

The wizards of Apple, who will soon have a device on the market to help you pay your bills, (and take a micro slice) must be aware that consumer borrowing has just seen its biggest hike since November 2001—just two months after the big event—and now stands at a whopping $3.24 TRILLION.  According to the Federal Reserve, there has been a hike of $16.01 Billion in July alone.

When I made the film In Debt We Trust in 2006 about the immense debt burden of Americans, I didn’t connect the phenomenon to hikes in federal borrowing to finance our other pre-occupation: war spending.  Significantly, earlier in this same week, President Obama asked for another $5 billion for a new costly counter-terrorism offensive to fight ISIS.

This came just a few weeks after the Administration said it didn’t really consider ISIS a threat and had no strategy to fight it. Where might we ask was the National Security Agency with all its pervasive surveillance technology? Could they have missed its emergence because they are too busy sucking up metadata on our web and phone records?

Even superhawk Henry Kissinger downplayed ISIS, claiming Iran is a bigger threat—just before we learned that both Iran and the US are fighting ISIS, some say, together.

When did no threat become the biggest threat in the world?

Could the media have had anything to do with it?  Killa reporter or two and you are guaranteed massive publicity. These horror shows—and they are both, horrors and shows, rocketed the need for a global response of the kind Washington is now pushing up the escalation ladder.

For one thing, we now have a ”terror threat” to be scared enough to throw money at, a response that delights the accountants in the military industrial complex who no longer fear theirendless spigot of spending will be cut off or decreased.

So, after the next ritualistic 911eve speech to the nation, US bombers will be back in the air “degrading” ISIS and any civilians who happen to be too close for comfort. That old “bomb them back into the stone age” strategy that failed in Vietnam, failed in Afghanistan, and failed in Iraq as “Shock And Awe’ is back because the Pentagon doesn’t know what else to do.

Never mind that our dictatorial Royal Arab allies, with US help, have been funding their own terrorist armies for “democracy” in Syria for years that have also failed miserably. What do you do when a “battle plan” fails? Try it again!

Loretta Napoleoni, the economist who has focused on financial frauds of all kinds has a brilliant book coming out on for Seven Stories Press to show us what we really have to fear.

“Many believe that the Islamic State, like al-Qaeda before it, wants to turn back the clock, and indeed in Western media Syrian and Iraqi refugees describe its rule in their countries as a sort of carbon copy of the Taliban regime,” she writes.

“…Paradoxically, to deem the IS essentially backward would be mistaken. Indeed, during the last few years the belief that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the group’s leader and the new Caliph, is a clone of Mullah Omar may well have led Western intelligence to undervalue him and his organization’s strength. …What distinguishes the Islamic State from all other armed groups that predate it, including those active during the Cold War, and what accounts for its enormous successes, is its modernity and pragmatism.”

All we really know about their strategy is the tactic of beheading, a technique based on a desire to be feared because they know they will never be loved in the West.  Western propagandists then echo and praise their propaganda including a savvy use of social media, (They rarely mention beheadings of dissidents by Saudia Arabia!)

Who is behind disseminating these beheading videos that has aroused Obama to “act.” The controversial investigative reporter,Wayne Madson,charges it is not a news organization, but a right-wing propaganda group, writing (and I have seen this no where else) “

“The most recent video images of orange jump suit-clad U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff being beheaded were released by the Search for International Terrorist Entities or “SITE,” which also initially discovered andreleased the video beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley of GlobalPost.com.

As with the Foley video, U.S. intelligence initially refrained from validating the authenticity of the Sotloff video …Obviously, the CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies are well-versed on SITE’s Israeli pedigree. As previously revealed by WMR, SITE is a Washington, DC-based research institute with links to Israeli right-wing Likud elements and Mossad.”

Hmmm! (Remember that the government did not do much, as their families have pointed out, to save them.)

True or not, it is irrefutable that the State Department has now been circulating its own video response to ISIS as a slick media war plays out on the Internet Each side is using these horrific images for their own reasons, one to boast, the other to roast. We are using the deaths of journalists as a pretext for more deaths.

Writes Napoleoni in the intro to the book, now on the SevenStories.com website, “No matter how barbarous their actions are or have been, their status as threats to national security, as warriors, will be beyond doubt.

As the Islamic State’s war of conquest progresses, it is becoming clear that since 9/11 the business of Islamist terrorism has been getting stronger instead of weaker — to the extent that now it has morphed into a state — by simply keeping abreast with a fast-changing world in which propaganda and technology play an increasingly vital role. The same cannot be said for the forces engaged in stopping it from spreading.”

Perhaps that’s why new polls show that fear of ISIS is rising, in essence giving the Administration a blank check, the blank check it wanted all along. Whether theycan be successful remains to be seen.

Speaking of business, did you know, or have you forgotten, the costs of 9/11? The New York Times reported that Al Qaeda spent only  $400,000 for its attack while the US has spent, in response, an estimated $3.3 TRILLION. Don’t scoff, spending on that scale keeps the Pentagon and our economy humming by creating jobs and weapons, but not benefiting, of course, the 2,996 Americans who perished.

Sam Stein reports on Huff Post, “From 9/11 To Osama Bin Laden’s Death, Congress Spent $1.28 Trillion In War On Terror.”

It is almost incalculable when you add it all up. The website of The Institute for Analysis of Global Security lists the costs in part:

 •The destruction of major buildings in the World Trade Center with a replacement cost of from $3 billion to $4.5 billion.

 •Damage to a portion of the Pentagon: up to $1 billion.

 •Cleanup costs: $1.3 billion.

 •Property and infrastructure damage: $10 billion to $13 billion.

 •Federal emergency funds (heightened airport security, sky marshals, government takeover of airport security, retrofitting aircraft with anti-terrorist devices, cost of operations in Afghanistan): $40 billion.

•Direct job losses amounted to 83,000, with $17 billion in lost wages.

•The amount of damaged or unrecoverable property hit $21.8 billion.

 •Losses to the city of New York (lost jobs, lost taxes, damage to infrastructure, cleaning): $95 billion.

 •Losses to the insurance industry: $40 billion.

And,on, and on. When you add it all up and then factor in what money did not go for—schools, healthcare, poverty alleviation etc etc—you realize how devastating it’s been. We do not have many bragging rights in this exchange, in the sense that with GITMO and our deadly torture program, we have tried to outdo our enemies.

The Financial Crisis, from which we have still not recovered, hit six years after the towers went down. It was a self-afflicted wound for which few were punished. (Remember the heavily-hyped and costly effort back then to get Wall Street reopen for business? Did It! And then what?)

As 911 makes its annual calendar turn, let’s understand who has benefited from the Terror wars and who hasn’t, and why our economy and political system needs external enemies to fear, lest an angry public take a closer look at growing domestic economic inequality and its beneficiaries. No wonder WashingtonwantsISIS as the focus.And how do you think they present us to their supporters?

Filmmaker and News Dissector Danny Schechter has just finished a TV Series on the American Surveillance State. He blogs daily at NewsDissector.net and edits Mediachannel.org. Comments to [email protected]

Governments from Around the World Admit They Do It

Governments from around the world admit they’ve used the bully’s trick … attack first, and then blame the victim:

  • A major with the Nazi SS admitted at the Nuremberg trials that – under orders from the chief of the Gestapo – he and some other Nazi operatives faked attacks on their own people and resources which they blamed on the Poles, to justify the invasion of Poland. Nazi general Franz Halder also testified at the Nuremberg trials that Nazi leader Hermann Goering admitted to setting fire to the German parliament building, and then falsely blaming the communists for the arson
  • Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev admitted in writing that the Soviet Union’s Red Army shelled the Russian village of Mainila in 1939 – while blaming the attack on Finland – as a basis for launching the “Winter War” against Finland
  • Israel admits that an Israeli terrorist cell operating in Egypt planted bombs in several buildings, including U.S. diplomatic facilities, then left behind “evidence” implicating the Arabs as the culprits (one of the bombs detonated prematurely, allowing the Egyptians to identify the bombers, and several of the Israelis later confessed) (and see this and this)
  • The CIA admits that it hired Iranians in the 1950′s to pose as Communists and stage bombings in Iran in order to turn the country against its democratically-elected prime minister
  • The British Prime Minister admitted to his defense secretary that he and American president Dwight Eisenhower approved a plan in 1957 to carry out attacks in Syria and blame it on the Syrian government as a way to effect regime change
  • As admitted by the U.S. government, recently declassified documents show that in the 1960′s, the American Joint Chiefs of Staff signed off on a plan to blow up AMERICAN airplanes (using an elaborate plan involving the switching of airplanes), and also to commit terrorist acts on American soil, and then to blame it on the Cubans in order to justify an invasion of Cuba. See the following ABC news report; the official documents; and watch this interview with the former Washington Investigative Producer for ABC’s World News Tonight with Peter Jennings.
  • 2 years before, American Senator George Smathers had suggested that the U.S. make “a false attack made on Guantanamo Bay which would give us the excuse of actually fomenting a fight which would then give us the excuse to go in and [overthrow Castro]“.
  • And Official State Department documents show that – only nine months before the Joint Chiefs of Staff plan was proposed – the head of the Joint Chiefs and other high-level officials discussed blowing up a consulate in the Dominican Republic in order to justify an invasion of that country. The 3 plans were not carried out, but they were all discussed as serious proposals
  • The NSA admits that it lied about what really happened in the Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964 … manipulating data to make it look like North Vietnamese boats fired on a U.S. ship so as to create a false justification for the Vietnam war
  • A U.S. Congressional committee admitted that – as part of its “Cointelpro” campaign – the FBI had used many provocateurs in the 1950s through 1970s to carry out violent acts and falsely blame them on political activists
  • The German government admitted (and see this) that, in 1978, the German secret service detonated a bomb in the outer wall of a prison and planted “escape tools” on a prisoner – a member of the  Red Army Faction – which the secret service wished to frame the bombing on
  • The South African Truth and Reconciliation Council found that, in 1989, the Civil Cooperation Bureau (a covert branch of the South African Defense Force) approached an explosives expert and asked him “to participate in an operation aimed at discrediting the ANC [the African National Congress] by bombing the police vehicle of the investigating officer into the murder incident”, thus framing the ANC for the bombing
  • An Algerian diplomat and several officers in the Algerian army admit that, in the 1990s, the Algerian army frequently massacred Algerian civilians and then blamed Islamic militants for the killings (and see this video; and Agence France-Presse, 9/27/2002, French Court Dismisses Algerian Defamation Suit Against Author)
  • Senior Russian Senior military and intelligence officers admit that the KGB blew up Russian apartment buildings in 1999 and falsely blamed it on Chechens, in order to justify an invasion of Chechnya (and see this report and this discussion)
  • According to the Washington Post, Indonesian police admit that the Indonesian military killed American teachers in Papua in 2002 and blamed the murders on a Papuan separatist group in order to get that group listed as a terrorist organization.
  • The well-respected former Indonesian president also admits that the government probably had a role in the Bali bombings
  • As reported by BBC, the New York Times, and Associated Press, Macedonian officials admit that the government murdered 7 innocent immigrants in cold blood and pretended that they were Al Qaeda soldiers attempting to assassinate Macedonian police, in order to join the “war on terror”
  • Senior police officials in Genoa, Italy admitted that – in July 2001, at the G8 summit in Genoa  – planted two Molotov cocktails and faked the stabbing of a police officer, in order to justify a violent crackdown against protesters
  • Similarly, the U.S. falsely blamed Iraq for playing a role in the 9/11 attacks – as shown by a memo from the defense secretary – as one of the main justifications for launching the Iraq war. Even after the 9/11 Commission admitted that there was no connection, Dick Cheney said that the evidence is “overwhelming” that al Qaeda had a relationship with Saddam Hussein’s regime, that Cheney “probably” had information unavailable to the Commission, and that the media was not ‘doing their homework’ in reporting such ties. Top U.S. government officials now admit that the Iraq war was really launched for oil … not 9/11 or weapons of mass destruction (despite previous “lone wolf” claims, many U.S. government officials now say that 9/11 was state-sponsored terror; but Iraq was not the state which backed the hijackers)
  • Former Department of Justice lawyer John Yoo suggested in 2005 that the US should go on the offensive against al-Qaeda, having “our intelligence agencies create a false terrorist organization. It could have its own websites, recruitment centers, training camps, and fundraising operations. It could launch fake terrorist operations and claim credit for real terrorist strikes, helping to sow confusion within al-Qaeda’s ranks, causing operatives to doubt others’ identities and to question the validity of communications.”
  • United Press International reported in June 2005:

U.S. intelligence officers are reporting that some of the insurgents in Iraq are using recent-model Beretta 92 pistols, but the pistols seem to have had their serial numbers erased. The numbers do not appear to have been physically removed; the pistols seem to have come off a production line without any serial numbers. Analysts suggest the lack of serial numbers indicates that the weapons were intended for intelligence operations or terrorist cells with substantial government backing. Analysts speculate that these guns are probably from either Mossad or the CIA. Analysts speculate that agent provocateurs may be using the untraceable weapons even as U.S. authorities use insurgent attacks against civilians as evidence of the illegitimacy of the resistance.

  • Undercover Israeli soldiers admitted in 2005 to throwing stones at other Israeli soldiers so they could blame it on Palestinians, as an excuse to crack down on peaceful protests by the Palestinians
  • Quebec police admitted that, in 2007, thugs carrying rocks to a peaceful protest were actually undercover Quebec police officers (and see this)
  • At the G20 protests in London in 2009, a British member of parliament saw plain clothes police officers attempting to incite the crowd to violence
  • Egyptian politicians admitted (and see this) that that government employees looted priceless museum artifacts in 2011 to try to discredit the protesters
  • A Colombian army colonel has admitted that his unit murdered 57 civilians, then dressed them in uniforms and claimed they were rebels killed in combat
  • U.S. soldiers have admitted that if they kill innocent Iraqis and Afghanis, they then “drop” automatic weapons near their body so they can pretend they were militants
  • The highly-respected writer for the Telegraph Ambrose Evans-Pritchard says that the head of Saudi intelligence – Prince Bandar – recently admitted that the Saudi government controls “Chechen” terrorists
  • High-level American sources admitted that the Turkish government – a fellow NATO country – carried out the chemical weapons attacks blamed on the Syrian government; and high-ranking Turkish government admitted on tape plans to carry out attacks and blame it on the Syrian government
  • The former Ukrainian security chief admits that the sniper attacks which started the Ukrainian coup were carried out in order to frame others
  • Britain’s spy agency has admitted to (and see this) that it carries out “digital false flag” attacks on targets, framing people by writing offensive or unlawful material … and blaming it on the target

So Common … There’s a Name for It

Painting by Anthony Freda

The use of the bully’s trick is so common that it was given a name hundreds of years ago.

“False flag terrorism” is defined as a government attacking its own people, then blaming others in order to justify going to war against the people it blames. Or as Wikipedia defines it:

False flag operations are covert operations conducted by governments, corporations, or other organizations, which are designed to appear as if they are being carried out by other entities. The name is derived from the military concept of flying false colors; that is, flying the flag of a country other than one’s own. False flag operations are not limited to war and counter-insurgency operations, and have been used in peace-time; for example, during Italy’s strategy of tension.

The term comes from the old days of wooden ships, when one ship would hang the flag of its enemy before attacking another ship in its own navy. Because the enemy’s flag, instead of the flag of the real country of the attacking ship, was hung, it was called a “false flag” attack.

Indeed, this concept is so well-accepted that rules of engagement for naval, air and land warfare all prohibit false flag attacks.

Leaders Throughout History Have Acknowledged False Flags

Leaders throughout history have acknowledged the danger of false flags:

“This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector.”
- Plato

“If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.”
- U.S. President James Madison

“A history of false flag attacks used to manipulate the minds of the people! “In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations, and epochs it is the rule.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche

“Terrorism is the best political weapon for nothing drives people harder than a fear of sudden death”.
- Adolph Hitler

“Why of course the people don’t want war … But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship … Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”
- Hermann Goering, Nazi leader.

“The easiest way to gain control of a population is to carry out acts of terror. [The public] will clamor for such laws if their personal security is threatened”.
- Josef Stalin

People Are Waking Up to False Flags

People are slowly waking up to this whole con job by governments who want to justify war.

More people are talking about the phrase “false flag” than ever before.

According to scientific modeling systems used by the European Union, the radioactive ocean plume released by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster is likely to remain a massive clump of radioactivity until it slams into the West Coast of the United States in late 2017.

On March 11, 2011, a massive earthquake and tsunami struck Japan, knocking out power and cooling capability to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Within three days, multiple meltdowns and reactor explosions had taken place. By March 25, massive amounts of radioactive material were observed leaking directly into the Pacific Ocean.

In 2013, the Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center in Norway used computer models to project the movement and dispersion of this radioactive plume. Although the results of this study have been cited in official Chinese government documents, they have not been widely publicized.

Levels to remain high through at least 2026

The researchers used two separate scenarios to model leakage of radioactivity from the Fukushima plant into the Pacific. The first scenario assumed continuous and constant leakage for 20 days, while the second assumed continuous and constant leakage for one year.

Although delivering differing estimates of total radiation, both models concluded that the pollution would remain in a relatively unified mass and take the same path across the ocean until crashing up against western North America. Both models show the plume colliding with the U.S. West Coast and beginning to spread out starting around late 2017, with a maximum concentration of radiation hitting the coast toward the end of 2018.

Following this collision, the plume is projected to disperse and spread north, south and west, with portions of it eventually crashing back into East Asia sometime between 2021 and 2026. Throughout this entire time period, however, the area of greatest radioactivity concentration will remain positioned along North America’s West Coast.

The researchers noted that the model does have certain limits, namely its failure to account for ocean ecology (which may alter the flow of radioactive material) and atmospheric fallout (which may increase the concentration of radioactive material in additional regions to those predicted by the model).

Cleanup efforts in shambles

More than three years after the disaster, the Fukushima plant remains crippled, contaminated and uncontained. Massive amounts of radioactive water continue to pile up at the plant and leak into the surrounding earth and ocean. Thus far, all plans by plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) to stem the flow of this water by freezing the ground surrounding the plant have failed. More than 120,000 people evacuated from the area in 2011 are still unable to return to their homes, and criminal gangs have infiltrated cleanup operations.

In recent weeks, TEPCO has also been hit with a number of legal setbacks. A court ordered the company to pay nearly half a million dollars to the family of a woman who committed suicide just two months after being forcibly evacuated from her home near Fukushima. In August, a citizens’ judicial panel called for three former TEPCO executives to be prosecuted for their role in the disaster. TEPCO is also being sued by four workers seeking $600,000 in unpaid wages from their work in the plant’s clean-up and decommissioning operations.

“A year ago, the prime minister told the world that Fukushima was under control. But that’s not the case,” said Tsuguo Hirota, lawyer for the plaintiffs. “Workers are not getting promised hazard pay and skilled workers are leaving. It’s becoming a place for amateurs only, and that has to worry anyone who lives near the plant.”

Sources for this article include: 

http://www-2.nersc.no [PDF]

http://www.nersc.no [PDF]

http://www.nersc.no

http://enenews.com

http://spectrum.ieee.org

http://www.theguardian.com

http://www.theguardian.com

http://www.telegraph.co.uk

http://en.ria.ru

http://www.naturalnews.com

http://science.naturalnews.com

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/046830_radiation_plume_West_Coast_Fukushima.html#ixzz3D10d47Ng

During his prime time speech last night, President Barack Obama vowed that no combat troops would fight on foreign soil in the pursuit of ISIS, an assertion contradicted by NBC’s chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel, who says that U.S. boots are already on the ground in Iraq.

“I know there are already American boots on the ground where I am now,” Engel told MSNBC, adding, “They are troops who are staying away from reporters, they are embedded with local fighters trying to guide in air strikes, gathering intelligence — the kind of thing you would have thought the Green Berets would have done many years ago, and which are now being done by Navy SEALS and Delta Force and other Special Operations Forces.”

Engel went on to state that Obama was engaged in a “secret war” to dislodge ISIS while questioning the effectiveness of such a strategy.

The NBC reporter’s revelation that U.S. troops are already working alongside local fighters in Iraq to target ISIS contradicts Obama’s claim last night that his plan, “will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil.”

In a subsequent interview, Engel slammed Obama’s strategy to eliminate ISIS as “wildly off-base,” asserting that comparisons to U.S. military activity in Yemen and Somalia were an oversimplification of the problem.

Meanwhile, Obama faced criticism from some on the right who accused him of failing to acknowledge the threat posed by radical Islam after Obama remarked that “ISIL is not Islamic” during his speech.

Libertarians assailed Obama for officially adopting President Bush’s preemptive war doctrine while vowing to violate the territorial sovereignty of Syria without a UN resolution or even consultation with Congress.

As we documented yesterday, the White House plans to step up arms shipments to so-called “moderate” Syrian rebels despite the fact that the vast majority of militants in Syria are radical jihadists and many of them are aligned with or have given weapons to ISIS.

Given that the Syrian government has repeatedly made clear that it will consider any U.S. military action inside its border an “act of war,” the Obama administration risks pouring gasoline on a raging inferno if it follows a similar policy to that adopted towards Libya, which is now a failed state largely controlled by warlords and radical jihadist militias.

“Weasel wording” consists in using “words and phrases aimed at creating an impression that a specific and/or meaningful statement has been made, when in fact only a vague or ambiguous claim has been communicated, enabling the specific meaning to be denied if the statement is challenged.” … “Some weasel words may also have the effect of softening the force of a potentially loaded or otherwise controversial statement through some form of understatement.” (Gary Jason 1988)

One thing must be stated outright: This report does not lie.

It just can’t lie since there is nothing new in it. I myself have never seen such a meaningless plane crash report. What comes as a surprise, however, is the report’s diplomatic, sophisticated choice of words, which loses itself in ambiguous terminology.

It was probably planned this way, so each party can continue to defend their version of what happened with zeal.

Let’s take a closer look at this report.

At the beginning we find, as usual, detailed statements about the plane, who it belonged to, that it was in perfect condition and details about the crew. 

Technical issues or weather conditions are excluded as causes for the crash.

Image right: German pilot and author Peter Haisenko 

Then, it confirms that the flight recorders were virtually undamaged and that they have not been tampered with.

The report continues with the description of the debris scattered over a vast area and from this observation is drawn the amazing conclusion that this aircraft had blown up in the air.

I apologize for the slight sarcasm, but I will have no choice but to continue to make some sarcastic remarks about this “report”.

14 minutes of silence in the cockpit is absolutely impossible

It is reported that the cockpit section was probably completely broken off from the aircraft because it fell almost vertically from the point of shelling to the ground and was found at some distance from the rest of the debris.

The report indicates that the damages done by external forces were recorded almost exclusively in the front of the plane, namely the cockpit, and this led to the breakup of the aircraft.

So far so good, nothing new. Then there is a transcript of the radio communication between MH017 and air traffic control taken from the voice recorder.

At this point the expert starts to ask himself questions.

The transcript of the radio communication starts at 13:08:00 and ends at 13:22:02, a 14 minute time frame.

From my experience as an aircraft captain I cannot imagine that during 14 minutes no other dialogues or sounds were picked up in the cockpit by the voice recorder.

When the cockpit receives radio transmissions from other aircraft, those are also recorded by the device. As I said, there are no lies, but in all likelihood, not everything is being said. The published conclusion points out that:

“Crew communication gave no indication that there was anything abnormal with the flight.”

Everything was normal, but the possible (and very probable) conversation in the cockpit is concealed, as well as radio transmissions from other aircrafts.

High Energy Objects – and other hazy formulations

The conclusion of this report is a prime example of a situation in which one knows something with certainty, but the facts are presented in such a way that nothing is revealed: 

The damage observed in the forward section of the aircraft appears to indicate that the aircraft was penetrated by a large number of high-energy objects from outside the aircraft. It is likely that this damage resulted in a loss of structural integrity of the aircraft, leading to an in-flight break up.”

Aha!  says the astonished reader. We knew that already. We must take a closer look at this conclusion. In fact, it is not a conclusion.

The report speaks of possibilities and probabilities: “appears to indicate”, “it is likely”. But this is the less enigmatic part.

The wordings “penetrated” and especially “high-energy objects” are interesting. It remains unclear how far these “objects” entered, or even if they went through the entire cockpit and came out on the other side of it, thus completely “penetrating” the cockpit. The background picture of the cockpit section shown in this report is of lower quality and in smaller scale than the one I provided myself and published in my analysis.

“Weasel Wording”

Again it must be noted: The report does not lie, but the Commission shows less information than it has at its disposal.

The term “high-energy objects” is totally “original”. What is this?

I myself know this term from astrophysics or quantum physics. Otherwise, I have not commonly seen it in the context of aviation or plane accidents. So how should this concept be understood? I asked English speakers about this.  They spontaneously replied bullets, projectiles from a cannon or fast moving freight trains. They also noted that this term is unusual in “normal”, colloquial terms, except in astrophysics or quantum physics. This strange wording leaves everything open.

License to interpretations – The explanation appears different

Those who want to follow the Western description can conclude that a surface-to-air missile discharges “high-energy-objects”. This is precisely the interpretation that I observed in the German media today.

Our newspapers are reciting like a creed the American version of the cause of the disaster, issued immediately after the MH 017 crash, by claiming that the present report confirms that the Boeing 777 was shot down by a surface-to-air missile.

That is not exactly what the report states, but it allows this interpretation – and that’s probably the point of this very flexible choice of words. Everybody can interpret what they want to believe according to their own taste. Especially if they are not native English speakers who spontaneously think of bullets.

 This “report” is not worth the paper it is written on.

This is not surprising, because the Kiev Maidan government had to give their OK to what could be published.

The report leaves open everything which could actually contribute to an explanation. The MH 017 could have been hit by a missile, whether surface-to-air or air-to-air. It could have been shot down by a fighter jet or, sarcastically, according to the astrophysics or quantum physics terms, by a large number of “high-energy objects” that rained down on the cockpit from the far reaches of the universe.

You can download the report in the original PDF here to make up your own mind.

More articles on MH 017:

Read Peter Haisenko’s earlier article:

Shocking analysis for launching the Malaysian MH 017 - Here you will find the high resolution image of the cockpit section, of which only a portion is shown in the report.

Original in German.

translation: Julie Lévesque for Global Research

9/11: The Mother of All Big Lies

September 11th, 2014 by Stephen Lendman

They’re an American tradition. They date from the republic’s inception. Notable ones began in the mid-19th century.

They facilitated annexing Texas. Half of Mexico followed. America became Cuba’s colonial power.

Controlling the Philippines, Guam, Samoa, Hawaii, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Canal Zone, Puerto Rico and other territories followed.

In 1917, Woodrow Wilson manipulated public sentiment. He did so with Big Lies.

They turned most Americans into raging German haters. Big Lies work this way. Wilson got the war he wanted.

FDR manipulated Japan to attack Pearl Harbor. Doing so let him wage war.

He had to convince Congress and a pacifist public to go along.

What better way than by manufacturing terror.

Washington and Seoul conspired against Pyongyang. Numerous 1949/1950 cross-border incursions provoked its June response. Truman got the war he wanted.

War against North Vietnam followed the fake August 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident. Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. Doing so authorized war without declaring it.

Reagan’s 1983 Grenada invasion had nothing to do with rescuing US medical students. It was about replacing leftist New Jewel Movement governance with pro-Western stooge allies.

In December 1989, manufactured incidents precipitated America’s Panama invasion. Former US ally Manuel Noriega was deposed. At issue was forgetting who’s boss.

In August 1990, Washington colluded with Kuwait’s al-Sabah monarchy. Saddam Hussein was entrapped to invade.

In January 1991, the Gulf War followed. Over two decades of sanctions, war, occupation, and destruction of the “cradle of civilization” followed.

It bears repeating. 9/11 is the mother of all Big Lies. Thirteen years of imperial wars followed.

They continue. One country after another is targeted. Ravaging, destroying, colonizing, exploiting and controlling them reflect official US policy.

Homeland wars target Muslims, people of color, Latino immigrants and working Americans.

Award-winning author David Ray Griffin researched 9/11 exhaustively. He did so in 10 books, many articles and lectures. He provided vital evidence too important to ignore.

In April 2006, he discussed “9/11: The Myth and the Reality,” saying:

“It would seem, for many reasons, that the official story of 9/11, which has served as a religious Myth in the intervening years (and still does), is a myth in the pejorative sense of a story that does not correspond to reality.”

In September 2008, Griffin headlined “September 11, 2001: 21 Reasons to Question the Official Story about 9/11.”

The FBI admitted it “ha(d) no hard evidence connecting” 9/11 to bin Laden.

So-called devout Muslim alleged hijackers drank heavily, frequented strip clubs and paid for sex.

Technology in 2001 made cell phone calls made from above 30,000 feet impossible.

The FBI lied claiming Mohamed Atta’s left behind luggage contained “decisive evidence” about Al Qaeda responsibility for the attacks.

Passports allegedly found at United 93′s crash site were fake.

Alleged hijackers weren’t aboard the four fateful flights.

Standing operating intercept procedures weren’t followed.

Then Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta said Dick Cheney “apparently confirmed a stand-down order” prior to an alleged plane striking the Pentagon.

The 9/11 whitewash Commission deleted Mineta’s comment from its official report.

Secret Service agents let Bush remain at a Sarasota, FL school for 30 minutes after learning about the second twin tower strike.

Standard procedure calls for securing his safety immediately in case of potential danger.

Jet fuel doesn’t heat high enough to melt or cause rigid steel columns to crumble.

Doing so is “scientifically impossible.” Controlled demolitions destroyed both towers. Building 7 fell the same way. Griffin explained other Big Lies.

He concluded saying growing numbers of “physicists, chemists, architects, engineers, pilots, former military officers, and former intelligence officers reject the official 9/11 myth.”

In June 2010, he headlined “Did 9/11 Justify the War in Afghanistan?”

Asking is verboten. It’s “off-limits,” said Griffin. It’s “not to be raised in polite company, and certainly not in the mainstream media.”

It’s forbidden “to ask whether the original invasion was justified by the 9/11 attacks.”

No evidence linked them to Afghanistan. Attacking a country posing America no threat is lawless aggression.

War without mercy continues. It does so without Security Council authorization, Griffin explained. Claims otherwise are false.

No moral justification for war exists. Contrary arguments were Big Lies. America decided to invade Afghanistan two months before 9/11, said Griffin.

Reasons for doing so differ from official Big Lies. Invading had nothing to do with “captur(ing) or kill(ing) Osama bin Laden,” Griffin explained.

Or defeating Al Qaeda. Or other nonexistent threats.

It was about advancing America’s imperium. It was to colonize and control a strategic territory.

Afghanistan is a geopolitical prize. At issue is controlling Eurasia’s vast oil, gas and other resources.

It’s controlling the world’s largest opium supply. It floods global markets with heroin.

It provides enormous profits for Wall Street. It gives CIA access to billions of dollars in elicit drug money.

Occupied Afghanistan gives America a strategically located land-based aircraft carrier. It’s part of Washington’s plan to encircle Russia and China with bases.

9/11 was a convenient pretext. It was the mother of all Big Lies. Wars without end followed.

Griffin calls America’s Afghan war “an abomination.” The “official rationale (given) is a lie. We are there for other reasons,” he stressed

No legal or moral justification exists. “The fact that the official story is a lie makes (America’s) war crimes even worse.” They continue daily out of sight and mind.

In his book “Freedom Next Time: Resisting the Empire,” John Pilger called Afghanistan “the grand illusion of the American cause.”

At the same time, “(t)rough all the humanitarian crises in living memory, no country has been abused and suffered more, and none has been helped less, than Afghanistan,” he said.

America’s presence exacerbates horrific conditions. Death, destruction and daily violence persist. They haunt daily life. Human misery is extreme.

Peace, stability and freedom remain distant hopes. Maybe “next time,” says Pilger. For sure no time soon.

Not as long as permanent US occupation continues. America has no plans to leave.

On Thursday, September 11, this writer’s Progressive Radio News Hour features new Consensus 9/11 information.

Elizabeth Woodworth will discuss it. She’ll explain newly discovered truths. “Best evidence” proof is presented. It dispels official Big Lies. Consensus 9/11 is founded on:

“(1) The opinions of respected authorities, based on professional experience, descriptive studies, and reports of expert committees.

(2) Physical data in the form of photographs, videotapes, court testimony, witness reports, and FOIA releases.

(3) Direct rather than circumstantial evidence.”

It’s based on “integrating individual professional expertise with the best available documentary and scientific evidence.”

Doing so is similar to how doctors diagnose illnesses. It’s how forecasts based on best judgments are made.

Revisions based on new evidence are encouraged. Doing so reveals important truths.

No airliner black boxes were found at the World Trade Center site. New evidence refutes the official claim. Woodworth will explain.

Over a three-year period, 24 Consensus 9/11 panel members produced 44 peer-reviewed Big Truths. They refute official Big Lies.

New information keeps surfacing. Consensus 9/11 is dedicated to explaining what everyone needs to know.

For example, 10 so-called Muslim hijackers allegedly broke into the cockpits of four aircraft. Supposedly they commandeered them.

Yet none of the pilots or co-pilots “squawked” the 7500 hijack code. Nor does proof exist to verify numerous other official Big Lies.

9/11 is the mother of all them all. Truth is its mortal enemy. Revealing it is crucially important. Spreading it lets many others know.

Growing numbers of Americans and others worldwide reject the official 9/11 myth.

They do so for good reason. It’s a bald-faced lie. It’s by far the most harmful one in living memory.

Millions of corpses attest to America’s barbarity. The mother of all Big Lies persists. Imperial wars rage without end.

Freedom in America is dying. Obama targets it for elimination altogether. He presides over a ruthless police state apparatus.

No one is free and safe. Big Brother watches everyone. Mass surveillance is official US policy.

So is targeting anyone resisting US authority. Monied interests alone matter. Advancing America’s imperium serves them.

Whistleblowers exposing government crimes are targeted. Dissent is increasingly criminalized.

Constitutional rights are vanishing in plain sight. The Patriot Act alone eliminated fundamental freedoms. Nancy Chang once asked “(w)hat’s so patriotic about trampling on the Bill of Rights?”

The American dream is more myth than reality. George Carlin once said “(y)ou have to be asleep to believe it.”

Obama won’t prosecute CIA torturers. He facilitates Wall Street grand theft. Corporate crooks run America.

War-profiteering is the national pastime. Thirdworldizing America is official policy. So is waging war on humanity.

Habeas protection no longer exists. Or due process and judicial fairness. Anyone can be criminalized for any reason or none at all.

Police states operate this way. Obama is judge, jury and executioner. He usurped diktat power.

He can claim emergency authority to declare martial law, suspend the Constitution for national security reasons, deploy federal and/or National Guard troops on city streets, and suppress whatever he calls disorder.

Included are peaceful protests. At issue is abolishing fundamental First Amendment rights. Without them all others are at risk.

They include free expression, a free press, public assembly, religious freedom, and right to petition government for redress. No longer.

America is unfit to live in. It’s on a fast track to tyranny. It’s perilously close to full-blown.

Perhaps just another 9/11-type False Flag away. The fullness of time will tell.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”  at  http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

Today marks the thirteenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The events of that day were followed within days by the proclamation of a “war on terror” by the Bush administration, a so-called war that has continued in different forms to the present.

From the outset, the “war” was a lie. The acts of terrorism, the circumstances and background of which have never been the subject of a serious investigation, were used as a pretext for implementing an agenda, long in preparation, for military aggression abroad and the destruction of democratic rights at home.

More than a decade later, the Obama administration is seeking to repackage this war, using the actions of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), itself a product of US support for Islamic fundamentalists in the imperialist interventions in Libya and Syria, as the casus belli for a massive bombing campaign in the Middle East.

The deeply reactionary and anti-democratic essence of the “war on terror” is expressed in the use of torture as an instrument of US policy. Recent events have confirmed that the highest levels of the US government and American intelligence authorized, monitored and sought to cover up the most barbaric forms of torture—acts that are clear violations of international and domestic law as well as the Constitution of the United States.

First is the publication by the British Telegraph newspaper of details of CIA “waterboarding,” a method that was used against at least three US prisoners: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, allegedly involved in planning the September 11 attacks; Abu Zubaydah, an alleged aide to Osama bin Laden; and Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri, alleged to have planned the USS Cole bombing in 2000.

“They weren’t just pouring water over their heads or over a cloth,” the standard definition of waterboarding used by the CIA, one source told the Telegraph. “They were holding them under water until the point of death… This was real torture.” According to another unnamed source who is familiar with a still classified Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture, the brutal methods employed would “deeply shock” the population if they were revealed.

This was followed Monday by an announcement from Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein that a summary of the Intelligence Committee report, which was supposed to come out last month, might not be ready before Congress adjourns later this month, preventing the question of torture from becoming an issue in the November midterm elections. Feinstein cited conflicts with the CIA over redactions demanded by the agency, but the delay is politically convenient for all sides.

The report in the Telegraph has been ignored by the American media. It has not been mentioned by the New York Times or the Washington Post or reported by major US television news outlets. While the images of the beheading of journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff by ISIS have been reprinted in newspapers throughout the country accompanied by denunciations of the acts as “barbaric,” no similar publicity has been given to the barbaric actions of CIA officials operating under the direction of the American government.

Similarly, the constitutional crisis that erupted earlier this year between the Senate and the CIA has been almost entirely dropped by the media. In late July, the CIA’s own Office of the Inspector General concluded that the agency hacked into Senate computers as the Intelligence Committee’s report on CIA torture was being compiled, yet nothing has come of this open violation of US law and the Constitutional separation of powers.

This silence is not surprising. The crimes revealed implicate not only the Bush administration, but the entire political establishment.

The torture of Zubaydah (captured in March 2002), al-Nashiri (captured in November 2002), and Mohammed (captured in March 2003) was a critical stage in the raft of anti-democratic measures implemented as part of the “war on terror.”

Secret memos were drawn up by Justice Department lawyers to spin a pseudo-legal rationale for torture. This rested on the claim that the “war on terror” gave the president, as the commander in chief, unrestrained powers that trumped all legal and constitutional restraints. These arguments would then be marshaled to justify unending war, domestic spying, military tribunals, indefinite detention of US citizens and non-citizens without charges and other violations of core democratic rights.

The torture memos outlined the legal framework for presidential dictatorship—a framework that has been followed by the Obama administration in expanding the powers of the National Security Agency (NSA) and justifying the assassination of anyone declared a “terrorist,” including US citizens, without due process.

After taking office, the Obama administration did everything it could to cover up for CIA torturers and for those who directed them. Soon after his 2009 inauguration, Obama announced that the torture programs had been ended, but that there would be no accountability. It was necessary “to look forward as opposed to looking backwards,” he declared.

In November 2010, the Justice Department said it would not prosecute anyone for the destruction of hundreds of hours of taped interrogations (including torture) of Zubaydah and al-Nashiri. These tapes had been viewed by top Bush administration officials, likely including President George W. Bush himself.

Then in 2012, the White House announced that the only two cases it was considering for prosecution would be dropped. These involved the fatal torture of one prisoner in Afghanistan (Gul Rahman, alleged to be part of the insurgency against the US occupation, who died after being shackled to a concrete wall in near-freezing temperatures at a CIA prison), and one prisoner in Iraq (Manadel al-Jamadi, whose corpse was photographed packed in ice after he died at the hands of the CIA in 2003).

Finally, the Justice Department announced earlier this year that there would be no criminal charges brought against the CIA in response to the revelation that it spied on the Senate.

The only person prosecuted in relation to CIA torture was John C. Kiriakou, a former CIA official who was the first to speak openly about waterboarding in 2007. Kiriakou was indicted by the Obama administration in 2012 under the Espionage Act and pleaded guilty of violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act. He is currently serving a 30-month prison sentence.

What is revealed in these events is a military-intelligence complex which, behind the formal trappings of democracy, engages in criminal actions without any consequences. The various institutions of the state and the major political parties function as representatives of this apparatus and the financial aristocracy it serves. The mass media consists of paid apologists and propagandists who help in covering up these crimes, while seeking to establish the political and ideological framework to legitimize them.

The fundamental target of all these actions is not “terrorism,” but opposition to the policies of the American financial aristocracy both abroad and at home. The barbaric act of torture—which the Enlightenment jurist and philosopher Cesare Beccaria called an act “worthy of a cannibal”—reveals the social outlook and reactionary essence of the American ruling class and the methods it is preparing to use against the working class in defense of its economic system.

Obama Announces Open-Ended War in Iraq and Syria

September 11th, 2014 by Patrick Martin

In a perfunctory speech on national television Wednesday night, US President Barack Obama announced an open-ended escalation of US military violence in the Middle East.

Using the crimes of the Muslim fundamentalist group ISIS as a pretext, Obama announced he was sending another 475 US troops to Iraq, stepping up the bombing of ISIS targets in that country, and preparing a cross-border extension of the bombing campaign into Syria.

In addition, he called on Congress to provide funding for a major increase in US recruitment, training and arming of “rebel” forces in Syria to fight both ISIS and the main target of American imperialism in the region for the past three years, the Syrian government of President Bashar al Assad, which is allied with both Iran and Russia.

It was only 12 months ago that Obama tried and failed to create the political conditions for US air strikes against the Assad regime, making allegations of the use of nerve gas weapons that were later discredited. Now Obama is seeking to achieve the same goal by a different route, using ISIS as a pretext to get American military forces into Syria, where they will become the spearhead of the campaign to oust Assad and install a pro-US stooge regime in Damascus.

In devoting less than 15 minutes to motivating a dramatic change in US foreign policy—reversing his previous posturing as an opponent of long-term US military intervention in the Middle East—Obama demonstrated his contempt for the American people and any conception of democracy.

Obama did not offer any serious accounting for his decision to plunge once again into the cauldron of the Middle East, other than the actions of ISIS, particularly the repulsive beheading of two American freelance journalists over the past month.

He presented ISIS as an inexplicable evil, although the group originated as a byproduct of US imperialist interventions in Central Asia and the Middle East. The organization, he said, “has taken advantage of sectarian strife and Syria’s civil war to gain territory on both sides of the Iraq-Syrian border.” He did not mention that both the sectarian strife and the civil war were instigated by the United States.

After its defeat by Sunni tribal forces and Shiite militias in Iraq, Al Qaeda in Iraq reformed itself as ISIS, operating on both sides of the Iraq-Syria border. It profited enormously from the US-backed campaign of subversion against the Assad regime. ISIS rebuilt itself from aid provided by the CIA and US allies such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia, then crossed back into Iraq and launched its current offensive against the US-backed puppet regime in Baghdad.

Obama could not discuss any of this history in his television address, since it would underscore the reckless and incendiary character of the new round of military intervention he has begun. One thing is certain: more American bombs, missiles and soldiers will only worsen the humanitarian catastrophe in Iraq and Syria, while increasing the likelihood that localized conflicts spread into a general war throughout the Middle East, and even beyond.

The US president emphasized that there was no geographical limit to the new war he was declaring. “This counter-terrorism campaign will be waged through a steady, relentless effort to take out [ISIS] wherever they exist,” he said. This amounts to a declaration that Washington is prepared to bomb not only Iraq and Syria, but Lebanon, Jordan and anywhere else the Islamists may rise up.

Obama reiterated his policy that the US has the right to wage war against anyone, anywhere that it determines poses a threat to the “core interests” of the United States—i.e., the interests of the American ruling class.

In the closing portion of his speech, Obama insisted on the leading role of the United States in virtually every international crisis on every continent, saying, “American leadership is the one constant in an uncertain world.”

He continued, “It is America that has the capacity and the will to mobilize the world against terrorists. It is America that has rallied the world against Russian aggression…”

The quick transition from targeting ISIS to confronting Russia—the world’s second-largest nuclear power—is particularly ominous. As for Russian “aggression,” the crisis in Ukraine was provoked by US and German sponsorship of a right-wing coup backed by fascist forces.

The way in which the new policy on Iraq and Syria was formulated and rolled out shows the complete decay of democracy in America. After weeks of discussion with the military-intelligence establishment, Obama presented his proposals Monday in a meeting of several hours with leading figures in the foreign policy establishment.

On Tuesday he met briefly with the congressional leaders of both parties, telling them that he did not need their approval for military action, to which they readily assented.

Then on Wednesday, he gave a perfunctory television speech, with only the barest pretense of seeking to persuade the American people, who have absolutely no say on the most fundamental questions of war and peace.

From Wednesday 17th to Friday 26th September this year thousands of friends and relatives of the fallen and the final few who fought there 70 years ago will gather to commemorate the Battle of Arnhem.

In 1944, as the Allies were heading for Berlin, British Airborne troops were dropped in to take the Arnhem bridge, and the US 82nd Airborne the penultimate Nijmegen bridge. British tanks of XXX corps chugging up the road as reinforcements – at least that was the plan.

Known to most through the 1977 feature film, “A Bridge Too Far” (directed by the late Sir Richard Attenborough), Operation Market Garden was the biggest airborne operation in history. Over 40,000 American and British soldiers, with artillery, jeeps and light armored vehicles were dropped, by parachute and hundreds of gliders, behind German lines.

The objective was to liberate a large slice of Holland, cross the Rhine, grab a bridgehead into the industrial heartland of the Ruhr’s Nazi war machine, and end the war by Christmas 1944. Instead the mission’s failure brought a colossal 16,000 casualties, and left a 60-mile finger of Allied troops sticking into German-held territory leading nowhere. A disastrous “Hongerwinter” of bitter starvation followed the military failure, where an estimated 22,000 Dutch civilians starved to death under Nazi occupation.

But as both sides gather in 2014 to remember, and puzzle over, one of the most enigmatic and engaging battles of the war, the organized evil of fascism is again legitimized, active and growing in Europe. Right now the legacy of Hitler’s “Crooked Cross” is a political force, notably in Greece, with the Golden Dawn party, and Ukraine, with the openly pro-Nazi Pravy Sektor party.

“Did we,” many of the old soldiers will be wondering, “really finish the job in 1945?” “Have our leaders set us on the right path with their War on Terror determined to vanquish terrorism from the face of the Earth?” “Or has that enemy been deliberately ‘cooked up’ by the real enemy within?” “Will our children again have to confront this totalitarian menace in our midst before social justice triumphs and the cult of fascism and gangsterism is winkled out forever?”

At many of the twenty-four now mostly abandoned airfields all over the south and southeast of England from which the airborne Market forces took off, you’ll find war memorials to the thousands that died trying to liberate Holland. We owe it to those 11,000 or so that never returned to expose both the mistakes in and lies about the battle. 4th Parachute Brigade commander General Sir John Hackett, in the foreword to “The Devil’s Birthday,” described it as “an absorbing field of study which is by no means fully exhausted.” In plain talk, perhaps, “a can of worms.”

Lions

After the success of the Normandy Invasion, back in June 1944, the hard slog to Berlin was on. US and British generals were vying for the precious ammunition, food and other supplies being shipped over the English Channel. British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery in the north won the tussle and was granted, in Operation Market Garden, a last chance to prove that audacity and imagination might make a quick end to the war in Europe. The traditional slugger, US General George S. Patton in the south, would have to bide his time.

Major Brian Urquhart was an intelligence officer in the planning of Market Garden. When he was shown aerial reconnaissance photographs of the 9th and 10th SS Panzer divisions “resting” just outside Arnhem he demanded a total rethink. British Airborne chief “Boy” Browning, though, would have none of it and Urquhart was unceremoniously put on sick leave. After the war Brian Urquhart went on to become Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations. He blamed the failure of the operation firmly on the incompetence and vanity of those in charge.

Of all the British airborne leaders, Colonel John Frost is roundly thought of as the most able, so much so that the bridge at Arnhem is now named after him. His 2nd battalion fought their way into Arnhem and held on to the bridge for three days and nights in the face of an enormous German force.

In his 1980 autobiography, “A Drop Too Many”, Frost makes it crystal clear that the pre-drop intelligence that the German Panzer divisions were in the area was kept from him. “We had been given absolutely no inkling of this possibility,” he relates. Indeed, airborne commander Browning actually diluted what he knew into a deliberate deception for Frost. “There were said to be some SS recruits in the Arnhem area without guns or armor.”

At the Arnhem Bridge “hanging on by their fingernails” with Colonel Frost was Brigade Major Tony Hibbert, who I was privileged to interview in 2012. Like so many others in Arnhem, he felt let down by the ground army that never came. His insistent desire, though, was that the Polish General Stanisław Sosabowski, stripped of his command and scapegoated by Browning for the operation’s failure and who sadly died in poverty in 1967, should have his rank restored and be posthumously honored by the British Army.

Led by a donkey

Despite commanding all three airborne divisions, according to William F. Buckingham’s book, “Arnhem 1944”, Eton-educated General “Boy” Browning “had no operational airborne experience at all.” Instead of ferrying fighting men, he used 36 of the precious aircraft and gliders to bring in his lavish headquarters on a peripheral objective, the Groesbeek Heights, and after ordering US General Gavin to forget about his main objective, the Nijmegen bridge, instead to take up positions around his headquarters. As John Frost put it, his main objective, “Nijmegen bridge was there for the walk-over.”

Browning spent the first day cruising about in his jeeps and making a trip across the nearby German border, into the Reichswald Forest, joking that he could take the credit as the first British officer to urinate on Germany. Adopting a more serious pose, he had his photograph taken for the home press as the first British officer to set foot on German soil.

Possibly Browning’s most damning act though, when the desperate fight for the Nijmegen bridge was at its height, was to turn down the aid of an entire air-landing formation waiting in England who were straining to get in on the fight. Major General Hakewell-Smith, commanding the 52nd Lowland Division, offered to come to Browning’s aid but was rebuffed, as Geoffrey Powell records in his “The Devil’s Birthday: The Bridges To Arnhem 1944,” with the reply, “Thanks for your message but offer not repeat not required as situation better than you think.”

After the war, Browning landed a top post as Comptroller of the Royal Household, that of Treasurer to both the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. But despite the top job he remained an alcoholic throughout his two post-war decades and was forced out of his responsibilities for the Duke of Edinburgh’s finances in the 1959 by a nervous breakdown.

The burning question of Market Garden though remains Captain Peter Carrington’s and his great Grenadier Guards’ tank break. Eyewitness 82nd Airborne Captain Moffatt T. Burriss recounts the words of General Horrocks, in charge of the tank reinforcements of XXX Corps, promising the collected Allied commanders, poised to take the penultimate Nijmegen bridge. “My tanks will be lined up in full force at the bridge, ready to go, hell-bent for Arnhem. Nothing will stop them.”

Instead, once Burriss and his men had taken the bridge, Horrocks, now with a clear run to Arnhem, ordered his men to take an 18-hour break, by which time Frost’s men at Arnhem Bridge had been defeated, and the battle was lost.

Historians and soldiers have argued, and will continue to argue, over why Horrocks’ depleted Corps of tanks, at least 100, failed to make that final 11-mile cruise to Arnhem on the evening of Wednesday 20th September, 1944.

Not enough ammunition, we are told. Well, one tank that did make the trip on its own through Lent and out the other side was described by its commander Sergeant Robinson pumping “round after round” into a lone German assault gun, then moving further up the road to do the same into Lent church from which unholy fireball a company of SS Panzer Grenadiers were observed to scatter in disarray.

Darkness, making it impossible for anti-tank guns to sight and range, might be the perfect cover for a tank advance and Lloyd Clark reveals in his 2008 book Arnhem, “Jumping the Rhein, 1944 and 1945,” that Horrocks “was a great advocate of the night tank attack.” Even Colonel Frost points out how vulnerable the German soldiers were at night. According to the maestro, “They had one major weakness in that they did not relish fighting by night… then was the time to advance on them, to bypass them, to do what one wanted.”

Not enough infantry is another excuse given for the halting of the tanks, but Horrocks had the crisp 130th Brigade of the 43rd Infantry Division twiddling their thumbs just south of Nijmegen, which he appears to have forgotten about. Not only that, scores of 82nd Airborne paratroopers that had taken the Nijmegen bridge were leaping up onto, and on one occasion even into, British tanks, expecting to accompany them on the 20-minute ride to Arnhem.

Then there was the “boggy terrain” of the lowlands which meant the tanks would have to stick to the mostly elevated dyke roads. No problem, according to German General Heinz Harmel, who insisted later that he had no forces to block the way and the British had made a big mistake staying put. “If they had carried on it, would have been all over for us,” he told the author of “It Never Snows In September: The German View of Market Garden,” former British Army Colonel Robert Kershaw.

Having taken the Nijmegen bridge, Captain Moffatt Burris was the first to arrive at Captain Carrington’s Sherman tank, parked triumphant but motionless by the north ramp. When urged to head north to relieve the British Airborne at Arnhem, Carrington refused to budge, saying his orders were to “stay here and wait for the infantry.”

When I interviewed Moffatt Burriss, he testified: “I cocked my tommy gun, pointed it at his head and said, ‘Get down that blankety-blank road before I blow your blankety-blank head off.” Carrington explained politely that Captain Burriss surely didn’t expect him to obey orders of a foreign officer, but then, Burriss says, Carrington “ducked into his tank and locked the hatch” so, as Burriss recalls, “I couldn’t get at him.”

Over the subsequent hour-and-a-half in-between the Nijmegen bridge and the little town of Lent that evening, a succession of ever higher-ranking American Airborne officers turned up to have a word with Captain Carrington in his tank. “Why aren’t you going?” demanded Capt. Burriss’ CO, Major Cook. Half an hour later 504 Parachute Infantry Regiment’s Colonel Tucker arrived, telling Carrington: “Your boys are hurting up there at Arnhem. You’d better go. It’s only 11 miles.” Just before dark, around 8pm, the top US officer, General Gavin himself, arrived and told Carrington: “If they were my men in Arnhem we would move tanks at night, we would move anything at night to get there.”

Carrington was after all, just following orders. His divisional commander, Major General Allan Adair, who commanded the Guards Armoured Division in which Carrington served as a captain, left only a sketchy memoir of the battle. (Adair spent much of the post-war years as Yeoman of the Guard, ceremonial bodyguard to the monarch. In the 1960s and 1970s, he took up the less ceremonial office of Deputy Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of Freemasons.)

Tank corps commander General Brian Horrocks, who was ultimately responsible for the 18-hour halt at the crucial point in the battle, is rumored by some, including military publisher Christian Bace, to have left a letter with another military publisher Leo Cooper, only to be opened after he died. According to Leo’s wife, the novelist Jilly Cooper, Horrocks’ letter is a complete mystery. Either it was lost, or it never existed at all.

But perhaps the greatest enigma connected with Arnhem was not to take place until a decade after the battle itself. In the self-same suburb of Oosterbeek, known as the Hexenkessel, or “witches cauldron” where, surrounded by overwhelming German firepower, so many British soldiers lost their lives, NATO’s secret political lobby was inconspicuously born.

In the chair at the first-ever “Bilderberg conference” in 1954 was Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, a former SS officer who was in on Market Garden’s planning, peering over Monty’s and Horrocks’ shoulders. Many believe he was instrumental in sabotaging the Allies’ efforts at Arnhem 10 years before.

The Prince was the British Army’s Dutch liaison officer for this planned liberation of his adopted country. Bernhard’s trusted agent for Market Garden was Christiaan Lindemans, codename “King Kong”. So why the questions about whether Prince Bernhard was actually still a Nazi? Because when he was smuggled across into German lines on Thursday 14th September, Lindemans deliberately took everything he knew of the Dutch underground resistance network and the Market Garden plans straight to German Army intelligence. Bernhard’s star player was a double agent.
Those who questioned whether it was wise to trust a former German aristocrat and SS officer, which Bernhard was, in that Dutch liaison role would have been reminded that King George VI himself had instructed Naval Intelligence officer Ian Fleming to give him security clearance. But like something from a plot which Fleming would later pen as author of the James Bond thrillers, other Allied forces, specifically the US Army and Royal Navy, refused to allow Bernhard anywhere near their secret facilities.

Another important figure in the drama of Market Garden, Peter Carrington, later Lord Carrington, also went on to chair the Bilderberg conferences. As UK Defence Secretary, Carrington was responsible for the army in Northern Ireland on Bloody Sunday in 1972, where 26 civilian demonstrators were shot by the British army, 13 of whom died of their wounds. Many point to this as the spark that ignited two-and-a-half decades of the Northern Ireland troubles. After several years as Foreign Secretary to Margaret Thatcher, Carrington resigned to become Secretary General of NATO for four years in the 1980s, moving on to chair the elite Bilderberg meetings for eight years through most of the 1990s.

Bilderberg is where the transatlantic banking, royal, media and corporate elite give our politicians their orders, and has been meeting annually in Europe or North America from 1954 to this day. Its connection to NATO is umbilical, yet often overlooked, as all Bilderberg steering group members and important attendees are from the NATO countries.
NATO’s Nazi ties go right back to the supposedly defensive alliance’s first meetings. Quoted in AJ Barker’s “Waffen SS at War”, HIAG, the SS veterans association’s chief after the war, former Eastern front Panzer corps General Paul Hausser, “claimed that the foreign units of the SS were really the precursors of the NATO army.”

Critics point out that, through politically motivated state terror campaigns such as Operation Gladio, which left hundreds of innocent European civilians dead, right through to liaison with Ukraine’s far right paramilitaries UNA/UNSO, NATO’s covert operations with fascist groups have been continuous since the end of World War II. As Italian “gladiator” Vincenzo Vinciguerra put it in a BBC Timewatch documentary: “In 1945 World War Two ended, and World War Three began.”

Was Market Garden sabotaged?

The evidence has mounted over the decades to support the idea that there was not just incompetence but a conscious “lack of enthusiasm” amongst some senior British army officers for Market Garden to succeed. That evidence has led some to link the disaster at Arnhem and Nijmegen with the wider “endgame” of World War Two, and the ultimate creation of the anti-democratic European Union which Bilderberg conferences have so successfully put in place.

Though it was never admitted in German propaganda, the Nazis’ defeat became obvious a few weeks before the ill-fated Falaise Gap battle of August 1944 signified the beginning of the end of the Third Reich.

The titans of German industry hastily arranged the “Red House Meeting” in Hotel Rotes Haus, Strasbourg for August 10th, setting plans in motion to “bury the Nazi treasure”. They were practical men, determined to keep control of their doomed war industries and ready to go underground, only to resurface after the war to take their cut of the Nazis’ looted wealth.

Hitler had friends amongst the Allies, particularly in the United States where, in 1934, the patriarch of the Bush dynasty, Prescott Bush, attempted to overthrow the US government in a military coup which was only thwarted by plucky US Marine Colonel Smedley Butler. The unrepentant Prescott Bush was prosecuted twice during WWII under the “Trading With The Enemy Act”.

Deals were done toward the end of the war through the OSS with this US Nazi faction in exchange for Hitler’s war machine technology, particularly for rockets and missiles as well as uranium and plutonium for the Manhattan Project’s nuclear weapons. Apart from a shared hatred for anything left-wing, particularly communism, the Germans also held bargaining chips of a massive hoard of artworks, gold and securities their armies had looted from the treasure houses of European capitals.

Operation Market Garden’s failure put the conduct of the remainder of the war and arrangements for post-war Europe firmly into US hands but it would need the cooperation of some of the top Brits to throw the fight.

Failure at Arnhem also gave the Nazis a much-needed extra four months, to 1st May, 1945, in which to transport everything and everyone of value out of Germany, to hiding places in Switzerland and far-flung corners of the world such as Argentina and Indonesia.

After the war, Bush’s fellow Nazi sympathizers, brothers Allen and John Foster Dulles, were busy laundering much of the Nazi loot through their New York law firm Sullivan and Cromwell. John Foster ran the State Department, and his brother the newly formed Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The Dulles’ Nazi continuity regime which Kennedy tried, and failed, to break, had set the US on an immediate aggressive foreign policy post-war.

The Dulles brothers’ enthusiasm for corporate lobbyists like the Council on Foreign Relations, who they were happy to let dominate the State Department, created the climate whereby John F. Kennedy could be assassinated in 1963 with impunity, sending a clear message to all US presidents and candidates not to cross the all-powerful US military industrial complex.

British veteran Arthur Bealy (83) shows two postcards he found in 1944 in a destroyed farm in Elst, 21 September during the 63th commemoration of Operation Market Garden, the battle of Arnhem at the Airborne monument in Arnhem (AFP Photo)

British veteran Arthur Bealy (83) shows two postcards he found in 1944 in a destroyed farm in Elst, 21 September during the 63th commemoration of Operation Market Garden, the battle of Arnhem at the Airborne monument in Arnhem (AFP Photo)

‘History will be kind to me. I know because I will write it.’ – Winston Churchill

Just before he set off for June 2014’s 70th D-Day anniversary, I was privileged to chat, off the record, to one of Britain’s most respected military historians. A former senior army officer who has written the most detailed account of the crucial Nijmegen part of the Market Garden battle, told me: “Oh no. I won’t be going to the Market Garden anniversary. It’s got way too political.”

Establishment “groupthink” historians have so massaged events at Arnhem and Nijmegen that telling the truth would put writers and historians in the West “beyond the pale”. All except one, that is. William F. Buckingham, commissioned by Oxford University’s Hew Strachan, wrote the most damning account of Market Garden, “Arnhem 1944,” in 2002. In it, Buckingham rightly shreds what might be left of the reputation of airborne commander “Boy” Browning.

Echoing the theme of Powell and Pressburger’s 1943 film, “The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp,” that “jobs for the boys” mean failures in self-seeking, entrenched, ossified leadership, which in wartime spells disaster. Browning put General Roy Urquhart in charge of 1st Airborne Division “because he was pliable”.

“The crux of this particular problem,” Buckingham says, “was the British Army’s tendency to value personal recommendation over specialist experience or operational expertise.”

With the rise of the Bilderberg faction, that “problem” has now grown to mammoth proportions throughout Europe and America. Formalizing privilege and promotion through gentleman’s clubs and secret societies in Britain has so enforced a “them and us” culture that we are heading back to Victorian levels of preventable, beggar-thy-neighbor homelessness, hunger and deprivation. Ever widening social division, and the viciousness that comes with it, has become de rigueur.

The prosperity of a parasitic, gangster elite has become the only priority, at the expense of everyone but the favored few. Authoritarian society has spread like a cancer where politics, education, religion and the media is all being denuded, sucked dry in a stranglehold of debt.

As the last of the old soldiers gather in Nijmegen and Arnhem for this, their last decade, we owe it to those who died at and after Arnhem, and to our children, not to pussyfoot around when it comes to nailing those Nazis and their collaborators. Because the politics of racism, greed and betrayal that Hitler was so determined to impose on Europe in World War Two is now back with a vengeance.

The US and Global Wars: Empire or Vampire?

September 11th, 2014 by Prof. James Petras

Introduction

To the growing army of critics of US military intervention, who also reject the mendacious claims by American officials and their apologists of ‘world leadership’, Washington is engaged in ‘empire-building”.   

But the notion that the US is building an empire, by engaging in wars to exploit and plunder countries’ markets, resources and labor, defies the realities of the past two decades.  US wars, including invasions, bombings, occupations, sanctions, coups and clandestine operations have not resulted in the expansion of markets, greater control and exploitation of resources or the ability to exploit cheap labor.  Instead US wars have destroyed enterprises, reduced access to raw materials, killed, wounded or displaced productive workers around the world, and limited access to lucrative investment sites and markets via sanctions.

In other words, US global military interventions and wars have done the exact opposite of what all previous empires have pursued:  Washington has exploited (and depleted) the domestic economy to expand militarily abroad instead of enriching it.

Why and how the US global wars differ from those of previous empires requires us to examine (1) the forces driving overseas expansion; (2) the political conceptions accompanying the conquest, the displacement of incumbent rulers and the seizure of power and; (3) the reorganization of the conquered states and the accompanying economic and social structures to sustain long-term neo-colonial relations.

Empire Building:  The Past

Europe built durable, profitable and extensive empires, which enriched the ‘mother country’, stimulated local industry, reduced unemployment and ‘trickled down’ wealth in the form of better wages to privileged sectors of the working class.  Imperial military expeditions were preceded by the entry of major trade enterprises (British East India Company) and followed by large-scale manufacturing, banking and commercial firms.  Military invasions and political takeovers were driven by competition with economic rivals in Europe, and later, by the US and Japan.

The goal of military interventions was to monopolize control over the most lucrative economic resources and markets in the colonized regions. Imperial repression was directed at creating a docile low wage labor force and buttressing subordinate local collaborators or client-rulers who facilitated the flow of profits, debt payments, taxes and export revenues back to the empire.

Imperial wars were the beginning, not the end, of ‘empire building’.  What followed these wars of conquest was the incorporation of pre-existing elites into subordinate positions in the administration of the empire.  The ‘sharing of revenues’, between the imperial economic enterprises and pre-existing elites, was a crucial part of ‘empire building’.  The imperial powers sought to ‘instrumentalize’ existing religious, political, and economic elites’ and harness them to the new imperial-centered division of labor.  Pre-existing economic activity, including local manufacturers and agricultural producers, which competed with imperial industrial exporters, were destroyed and replaced by malleable local traders and importers (compradors).  In summary, the military dimensions of empire building were informed by economic interests in the mother country.  The occupation was pre-eminently concerned with preserving local collaborative powers and, above all, restoring and expanding the intensive and extensive exploitation of local resources and labor, as well as the capture and saturation of local markets with goods from the imperial center.

“Empire-building” Today

The results of contemporary US military interventions and invasions stand in stark contrast with those of past imperial powers.  The targets of military aggression are selected on the basis of ideological and political criteria.  Military action does not follow the lead of ‘pioneer’ economic entrepreneurs – like the British East India Company.  Military action is not accompanied by large-scale, long-term capitalist enterprises.  Multi-national construction companies of the empire, which build great military bases  are a drain on the imperial treasury.

Contemporary US intervention does not seek to secure and take over the existing military and civilian state apparatus; instead the invaders fragment the conquered state, decimate its cadres, professionals and experts at all levels, thus providing an entry for the most retrograde ethno-religious, regional, tribal and clan leaders to engage in intra-ethnic, sectarian wars against each other, in other words – chaos.  Even the Nazis, in their expansion phase, chose to rule through local collaborator elites and maintained established administrative structures at all levels.

With US invasions, entire existing socio-economic structures are undermined, not ‘taken over’:  all productive activity is subject to the military priorities of leaders bent on permanently crippling the conquered state and its advanced economic, administrative, educational, cultural and social sectors.  While this is militarily successful in the short-run, the medium and long-term results are non-functioning states, not a sustained inflow of plunder and expanding market for an empire. Instead what we have is a chain of US military bases surrounded by a sea of hostile, largely unemployed populations and warring ethno-religious groups in decimated economies.

The US claims to ‘world leadership’ is based exclusively on failed-state empire building.  Nevertheless, the dynamic for continuing to expand into new regions, to militarily and politically intervene and establish new client entities continues.  And, most importantly, this expansionist dynamic further undermines domestic economic interests, which, theoretically and historically, form the basis for empire.  We, therefore, haveimperialism without empire, a vampire state preying on the vulnerable and devouring its own in the process.

Empire or Vampire:  The Results of US Global Warfare

Empires, throughout history, have violently seized political power and exploited the riches and resources (both material and human) of the targeted regions.  Over time, they would consolidate a ‘working relation’, insuring the ever-increasing flow of wealth into the mother country and the expanding presence of imperial enterprises in the colony.  Contemporary US military interventions have had the opposite effect after every recent major military conquest and occupation.

Iraq:  Vampires Pillage

Under Saddam Hussein, the Republic of Iraq was a major oil producer and profitable partner for major US oil companies, as well as a lucrative market for US exports.  It was a stable, unified secular state.  The first Gulf War in the 1990’s led to the first phase of its fragmentation with the de facto establishment of a Kurdish mini-state in the north under US protection.  The US withdrew its military forces but imposed brutal economic sanctions limiting economic reconstruction from the devastation of the first Gulf War.  The second US-led invasion and full-scale occupation in 2003 devastated the economy and  dismantled the state dismissing tens of thousands of experienced civil servants, teachers and police. This led to utter social collapse and fomented ethno-religious warfare leading to the killing, wounding or displacement of millions of Iraqis.  The result of GW Bush’s conquest of Baghdad was a ‘failed state’.  US oil and energy companies lost billions of dollars in trade and investment and the US economy was pushed into recession.

Afghanistan:  Endless Wars, Endless Losses

The US war against Afghanistan began with the arming, financing and political support of Islamist jihadi-fundamentalists in 1979. They succeeded in destroying and dismantling a secular, national government.  With the decision to invade Afghanistan in October 2001 the US became an occupier in Southwest Asia.  For the next thirteen years, the US-puppet regime of Hamad Karzai and the ‘NATO coalition’ occupation forces proved incapable of defeating the Taliban guerrilla army.  Billions of dollars were spent devastating the economy and impoverishing the vast majority of Afghans.  Only the opium trade flourished.  The effort to create an army loyal to the puppet regime failed.  The forced retreat of US armed forces beginning in 2014 signals the bitter demise of US ‘empire building’ in Southwest Asia.

Libya:  From Lucrative Trading Partner to Failed State

Libya, under President Gadhafi, was evolving into a major US and European trading partner and influential power in Africa.  The regime signed large-scale, long-term contracts with major international oil companies which were backed by a stable secular government.  The relationship with the US and EU was profitable.  The US opted to impose a ‘regime change’ through massive US-EU missile and bombing strikes and the arming of a motley collection of Islamist terrorists, ex-pat neo-liberals and tribal militias.  While these attacks succeeded in killing President Gadhafi and most of his family (including many of his grandchildren) and dismantling the secular Libyan government and administrative infrastructure, the country was ripped apart by tribal war-lord conflicts, political disintegration and the utter destruction of the economy.  Oil investors fled.  Over one million Libyans and immigrant workers were displaced.  The US and EU ‘partners-in-regime-change’ have even fled their own embassies in Tripoli – while the Libyan ‘parliament’ operates off-shore from a casino boat.  None of this devastation would have been possible under President Gadhafi.  The US vampire bled its new prize, Libya, but certainly could not incorporate it into a profitable ‘empire’.  Not only were its oil resources denied to the empire, but even oil exports disappeared.  Not even an imperial military base has been secured in North Africa!

Syria:  Wars on Behalf of Terrorists not Empire

Washington and its EU allies backed an armed uprising in Syria hoping to install a puppet regime and bring Damascus into their “empire”.  The mercenary assaults have caused the deaths of nearly 200,000 Syrians, the displacement of over 30% of the population and the seizure of the Syrian oil fields by the Sunni extremist army, ISIS.  ISIS has decimated the pro-US mercenary army, recruiting and arming thousands of terrorists from around the world It invaded  neighboring Iraq conquering the northern third of that country.  This was the ultimate result of the deliberate US dismantling of the Iraqi state in 2003.

The US strategy, once again, is to arm Islamist extremists to overthrow the secular Bashar Assad regime in Damascus and then to discard them for a more pliable client.   The strategy ‘boomeranged’ on Washington.  ISIS devastated the ineffective Iraqi armed forces of the Maliki regime in Baghdad and America’s much over-rated Peshmerga proxy ‘fighters’ in Iraqi ‘Kurdistan’.  Washington’s mercenary war in Syria didn’t expand the ‘empire’; indeed it undermined existing imperial outposts.

The Ukrainian Power Grab, Russian Sanctions and Empire Building

In the aftermath of the collapse of the USSR, the US and EU incorporated the Baltic, Eastern European and Balkan ex-communist countries into their orbit.  This clearly violated    major agreements with Russia, by incorporating most of the neo-liberal regimes into NATO and bringing NATO forces to the very border of Russia. During the corrupt regime of Boris Yeltsin, the ‘West’ absolutely looted the Russian economy in co-operation with local gangster – oligarchs, who took up EU or Israeli citizenship to recycle their pillaged wealth.  The demise of the vassal Yeltsin regime and the ascent and recovery of Russia under Vladimir Putin led the US and EU to formulate a strategy to deepen and extend its ‘empire’ by seizing power in the Caucuses and the Ukraine.  A power and land grab by the puppet regime in Georgia attacking Russian forces in Ossetia in 2012 was decisively beaten back.  This was a mere dress rehearsal for the coup in Kiev.  In late 2013-early 2014, the US financed a violent rightwing putsch ousting the elected government and imposing a hand-picked  pro-NATO client to assume power in Kiev.

The new pro-US regime moved quickly to purge all independent, democratic, federalist, bilingual and anti-NATO voices especially among the bi-lingual citizens concentrated in the South-Eastern Ukraine.  The coup and the subsequent purge provoked a major armed uprising in the southeast, which successfully resisted the invading NATO-backed neo-fascist armed forces and private armies of the oligarchs.  The failure of the Kiev regime to subdue the resistence fighters of the Donbass region resulted in a multi-pronged US-EU intervention designed to isolate, weaken and undermine the resistance.  First and foremost they attempted to pressure Russia to close its borders on the eastern front where hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian civilians eventually fled the bombardment.  Secondly, the US and EU applied economic sanctions on Russia to abandon its political support for the southeast region’s democratic and federalist demands.  Thirdly, it sought to use the Ukraine conflict as a pretext for a major military build-up on Russia’s borders, expanding NATO missile sites and organizing an elite rapid interventionist military force capable of bolstering a faltering puppet regime or backing a future NATO sponsored putsch against any adversary.

The Kiev regime is economically bankrupt.  Its war against its own civilians in the southeast has devastated Ukraine’s economy.  Hundreds of thousands of skilled professionals, workers and their families have fled to Russia. Kiev’s embrace of the EU has resulted in the breakdown of vital gas and oil agreements with Russia, undermining the Ukraine’s principle source of energy and heating with winter only months away. Kiev cannot pay its debts and faces default.  The rivalries between neo-fascists and neo-liberals in Kiev will further erode the regime.  In sum, the US-EU power grab in the Ukraine has not led to the effective ‘expansion of empire’; rather it has ushered in the total destruction of an emerging economy and precipitated a sharp reversal of financial, trade and investment relations with Russia and Ukraine.  The economic sanctions against Russia exacerbate the EU current economic crisis.  The belligerent posture of military confrontation toward Russia will result in an increase in military spending among the EU states and further divert scarce economic resources form job creation and social programs.  The loss by significant sectors of the EU of agricultural export markets, as well as the loss of several billion-dollar military-industrial contracts with Russia, certainly weakens, rather than expands, the ‘empire’ as an economic force

Iran:  100 Billion Dollar Punitive Sanctions Don’t Build Empires

The US-EU sanctions on Iran carry a very high political, economic and political price tag.  They do not strengthen empire, if we understand ‘empire’ to mean the expansion of multi-national corporations, and increasing access to oil and gas resources to ensure stable, cheap energy for strategic economic sectors within the imperial center.

The economic war on Iran has been at the behest of US allies, including the Gulf Monarchies and especially Israel.  These are dubious ‘allies’ for US ‘empire’ . . . widely reviled potentates and a racist regime which manage to exact tribute from the imperial center!

In Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere, Iran has demonstrated its willingness to co-operate in power sharing agreements with US global interest.  However, Iran is a regional power, which will not submit to becoming a vassal state of the US.  The sanctions policy has not provoked an uprising among the Iranian masses nor has it led to regime change.  Sanctions have not weakened Iran to the extent of making it an easy military target.  While sanctions have weakened Iran’s economy, they has also worked against any kind of long-range empire building strategy, because Iran has strengthened its economic and diplomatic ties with the US’ rivals, Russia and China.

Conclusion

As this brief survey indicates, US-EU wars have not been instruments of empire-building in the conventional or historical sense. At most they have destroyed some adversaries of empire.  But these have been pyrrhic victories.  Along with the overthrow of a target regime, the systematic break-up of the state has unleashed powerful chaotic forces, which have doomed any possibility of creating stable neo-colonial regimes capable of controlling their societies and securing opportunities for imperialist enrichment via economic exploitation.

At most the US overseas wars have secured military outposts, foreign islands in seas of desperate and hostile populations.  Imperial wars have provoked continuous underground resistance movements, ethnic civil wars and violent terrorist organizations which threaten ‘blowback’ on the imperial center.

The US and EU’s easy annexations of the ex-communist countries, usually via the stage-managed ballot-box or ‘color revolutions’, led to the take-over of great national wealth and skilled labor.  However, Euro-American empires bloody campaigns to invade and conquer the Middle East, South Asia, North Africa and the Caucuses have created nightmarish ‘failed states’ – continuously draining imperial coffers and leading to a state of permanent occupation and warfare.

The bloodless takeover of the Eastern European satellites with their accommodating, corrupt elites has ended. The 21st century reliance on militarist strategies contrasts sharply with the successful multi-pronged colonial expansions of the 19th – 20th century, where economic penetration and large scale economic development accompanied military intervention and political change.  Today’s imperial wars cause economic decay and misery within the domestic economy, as well as perpetual wars abroad, an unsustainable drain.

The current US/EU military expansion into Ukraine, the encirclement of Russia, NATO missiles aimed at the very heart of a major nuclear power and the economic sanctions may lead to a global nuclear war, which may indeed put an end to militarist empire-building… and the rest of humanity.

Commander of Iran’s Basij (volunteer) force Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naqdi lashed out at the US and Israel for sponsoring the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

“The criminal US created, equipped and armed the ISIL terrorist group with the help of the wicked Britain and the child-killing Zionist regime as well the petrodollars of oil-rich countries and they ordered it (ISIL) to carry out crimes and large-scale massacre of Shiites and Sunnis and disrupt their tranquility on the pretext of a sectarian Sunni war on Shiites,” General Naqdi said, addressing a gathering of thousands of Basijis in Lorestan province.

He noted that the western countries wanted to introduce a tainted image of Islam to the world by displaying horrible crimes and savage wickedness against children, women and innocent people with extreme brutality and savagery in a bid to harness the huge waves of Islamism and tendency for Islam in the world, specially the western countries.

General Naqdi reiterated that the arrogant powers have created the ISIL and every now and then they attack the terrorists to portray that they are fighting terrorism while the American, British and Israeli military advisors are supporting them in the battlefield.

“The outcome of the actions of this terrorist current in Syria was unprecedented as it caused people’s high turnout in that country’s presidential election, which set as yet another example of the inefficiency of weapons and the victory of the resistance movement against the global arrogance,” he added.

Also, in similar remarks in August General Naqdi took the US and certain European states responsible for providing logistics for the terrorist ISIL to find an alibi to boost its buildup in the region. “American’s intangible presence in the region has been a major cause for the creation of the terrorist ISIL group,” Naqdi said, addressing people in a city near Tehran last month.

He also condemned the US Congress for approving an aid budget for the ISIL, and said, “The European countries, including France, arm the ISIL and the US and the West’s attempts are not aimed at any goal but getting closer to Iran” borders.

On Monday, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Brigadier General Massoud Jazayeri warned of the enemies’ plots to spread Islamophobia, and said the terrorist groups in the region have been created by the spy agencies of the US and its allies.

“The world public opinion is aware that the phenomena such as the al-Nusrah Front, the ISIL, al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups in the region, have been created by the intelligence services of the US and the White House’s allies and have a mission to defame the dear Islam to prevent the people’s conversion to the real Islam and to spread Islamophobia and weaken the regional resistance front,” General Massoud Jazayeri said.

He referred to the US attempts to stir chaos in the region and its support for the terrorists, and said, “The vigilant and resistant people in Iraq and Syria should force their enemies, specially the Americans, to understand that they won’t allow the White House to create new poles in their countries through lies and deception.”

THE 9/11 READER. The September 11, 2001 Terror Attacks

September 11th, 2014 by Prof Michel Chossudovsky

 

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GR I-BOOK No.  7 

THE 9/11 READER

The September 11, 2001 Terror Attacks

9/11 Truth: Revealing the Lies,  Commemorating the 9/11 Tragedy

Michel Chossudovsky (Editor)

August 2012


The 911/ Reader is part of Global Research’s Online Interactive I-Book Reader, which brings together, in the form of chapters, a collection of Global Research feature articles, including debate and analysis, on a broad theme or subject matter.  To consult our Online Interactive I-Book Reader Series, click here.


 

INTRODUCTION

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 indepth 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”.

Click to view video

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.

9/11 was an important landmark for Global Research. Our website was launched on September 9, 2001, two days prior to 9/11. Our coverage of 9/11 was initiated on September 12, 2001.

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

CBS News footage of the Rawalpindi, Pakistan, hospital where bin Laden was allegedly treated the day before 9/11. [Source: CBS News]

 

CBS News footage of the Rawalpindi, Pakistan, hospital where bin Laden was allegedly treated the day before 9/11.

CBS News footage of the Rawalpindi, Pakistan, hospital where bin Laden was allegedly treated the day before 9/11. [Source: CBS News]

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 Saffire 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.


Front row, from left: Major Gen. Hamid Gul, director general of Pakistan’s
Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI), Director of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
Willian Webster; Deputy Director for Operations Clair George; an ISI colonel; and senior CIA official,
Milt Bearden at a Mujahideen training camp in North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan in 1987.
(source RAWA)


Ronald Reagan meets Afghan Mujahideen Commanders at the White House in 1985 (Reagan Archives)

VIDEO (30 Sec.)

The Collapse of the World Trade Center Buildings

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.”

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.

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.”

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 irrefutable 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)

The Collapse of WTC Building Seven.

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.

War Propaganda

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, focussing 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. http://www.globalresearch.ca/al-qaeda-and-natos-pan-arab-terrorist-blitzkrieg/

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.


PART  I

Timeline: What Happened on the Morning of September 11, 2001

Nothing Urgent: The Curious Lack of Military Action on the Morning of September. 11, 2001
- by George Szamuely – 2012-08-12
Political Deception: The Missing Link behind 9-11
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2002-06-20
On the morning of September 11, Pakistan’s Chief Spy General Mahmoud Ahmad, the alleged “money-man” behind the 9-11 hijackers, was at a breakfast meeting on Capitol Hill hosted by Senator Bob Graham and Rep. Porter Goss, the chairmen of the Senate and House Intelligence committees.
9/11 Contradictions: Bush in the Classroom
- by Dr. David Ray Griffin – 2008-04-04
9/11 Contradictions: When Did Cheney Enter the Underground Bunker?
- by David Ray Griffin – 2008-04-24
VIDEO: Pilots For 9/11 Truth: Intercepted
Don’t miss this important documentary, now on GRTV
- 2012-05-16

PART II

What Happened on the Planes

“United 93″: What Happened on the Planes?
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2006-05-01
  Phone Calls from the 9/11 Airliners
Response to Questions Evoked by My Fifth Estate Interview
- by Prof David Ray Griffin – 2010-01-12
Given the cell phone technology available in 2001, cell phone calls from airliners at altitudes of more than a few thousand feet, were virtually impossible
Ted Olson’s Report of Phone Calls from Barbara Olson on 9/11: Three Official Denials
- by David Ray Griffin – 2008-04-01
Ted Olson’s report was very important. It provided apparent “evidence” that American 77 had struck the Pentagon.

 

PART III

What Caused the Collapse of

The WTC Buildings and the Pentagon?

The Destruction of the World Trade Center: Why the Official Account Cannot Be True
- by Dr. David Ray Griffin – 2006-01-29
The official theory about the Twin Towers says that they collapsed because of the combined effect of the impact of the airplanes and the resulting fires
Evidence Refutes the Official 9/11 Investigation: The Scientific Forensic Facts
- by Richard Gage, Gregg Roberts – 2010-10-13
VIDEO: Controlled Demolitions Caused the Collapse of the World Trade Center (WTC) buildings on September 11, 2001
- by Richard Gage – 2009-09-20
VIDEO: 9/11: The Myth and The Reality
Now on GRTV
- by Prof. David Ray Griffin – 2011-08-30
Undisputed Facts Point to the Controlled Demolition of WTC 7
- by Richard Gage – 2008-03-28
VIDEO: 9/11 Explosive Evidence: Experts Speak Out
See the trailer for this ground-breaking film on GRTV
- 2011-08-03
9/11: “Honest Mistake” or BBC Foreknowledge of Collapse of WTC 7? Jane Standley Breaks Her Silence
- by James Higham – 2011-08-18
The Collapse of WTC Building Seven.
Interview. Comment by Elizabeth Woodworth
- by David Ray Griffin – 2009-10-17
  Building What? How SCADs Can Be Hidden in Plain Sight: The 9/11 “Official Story” and the Collapse of WTC Building Seven
- by Prof David Ray Griffin – 2010-05-30
Besides omitting and otherwise falsifying evidence, NIST also committed the type of scientific fraud called fabrication, which means simply “making up results.”
VIDEO; Firefighters’ Analysis of the 9/11 Attacks Refutes the Official Report
- by Erik Lawyer – 2012-08-27
VIDEO: Pentagon Admits More 9/11 Remains Dumped in Landfill
- by James Corbett – 2012-03-01
The Pentagon revealed that some of the unidentifiable remains from victims at the Pentagon and Shanksville sites on September 11, 2001 were disposed of in a landfill.
9/11: The Attack on the Pentagon on September 11, 2001
The Official Version Amounts to an Enormous Lie
- by Thierry Meyssan – 2012-08-16

PART IV

Lies and Fabrications: The 9/11 Commission Report

A National Disgrace: A Review of the 9/11 Commission Report
- by David Ray Griffin – 2005-03-24
The 9/11 Commission Report: A 571 Page Lie
- by Dr. David Ray Griffin – 2005-09-08
September 11, 2001: 21 Reasons to Question the Official Story about 9/11
- by David Ray Griffin – 2008-09-11
911 “Conspiracy Theorists” Vindicated: Pentagon deliberately misled Public Opinion
Military officials made false statements to Congress and to the 911 Commission
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2006-08-02
The 9/11 Commission’s Incredible Tales
Flights 11, 175, 77, and 93
- by Prof. David Ray Griffin – 2005-12-13
9/11 and the War on Terror: Polls Show What People Think 10 Years Later
- by Washington’s Blog – 2011-09-10

PART  V

Foreknowledge of 9/11

  VIDEO: The SECRET SERVICE ON 9/11: What did the Government Know?
Learn more on this week’s GRTV Feature Interview
- by Kevin Ryan, James Corbett – 2012-04-10
9/11 Foreknowledge and “Intelligence Failures”: “Revealing the Lies” on 9/11 Perpetuates the “Big Lie”
- by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky – 2011-09-14
“Foreknowledge” and “Failure to act” upholds the notion that the terrorist attacks (“act of war”) “waged by Muslims against America” are real, when all the facts and findings point towards coverup and complicity at the highest levels of the US government.
Foreknowledge of 9/11 by Western Intelligence Agencies
- by Michael C. Ruppert – 2012-08-21

PART VI

Insider Trading and the 9/11 Financial Bonanza

9/11 Attacks: Criminal Foreknowledge and Insider Trading lead directly to the CIA’s Highest Ranks
CIA Executive Director “Buzzy” Krongard managed Firm that handled “Put” Options on UAL
- by Michael C. Ruppert – 2012-08-13
The 9/11 Attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC): Unspoken Financial Bonanza
- by Prof Michel Chossudovsky – 2012-04-27
SEPTEMBER 11, 2001: Insider Trading 9/11 … the Facts Laid Bare
- by Lars Schall – 2012-03-20
Osama Bin Laden and The 911 Illusion: The 9/11 Short-Selling Financial Scam
- by Dean Henderson – 2011-05-09

PART VII

9/11 and the “Global War on Terrorism” (GWOT)

Political Deception: The Missing Link behind 9-11
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2002-06-20
On the morning of September 11, Pakistan’s Chief Spy General Mahmoud Ahmad, the alleged “money-man” behind the 9-11 hijackers, was at a breakfast meeting on Capitol Hill hosted by Senator Bob Graham and Rep. Porter Goss, the chairmen of the Senate and House Intelligence committees.
9/11 ANALYSIS: From Ronald Reagan and the Soviet-Afghan War to George W Bush and September 11, 2001
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2010-09-09
Osama bin Laden was recruited by the CIA in 1979. The US spent millions of dollars to supply Afghan schoolchildren with textbooks filled with violent images and militant Islamic teachings.

 

  The Central Role of Al Qaeda in Bush’s National Security Doctrine
“Revealing the Lies” on 9/11 Perpetuates the “Big Lie”
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2007-07-12
NATO’s Doctrine of Collective Security
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2009-12-21
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2010-08-30
What is now unfolding is a generalized process of demonization of an entire population group
Osamagate
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2001-10-09
The main justification for waging this war has been totally fabricated. The American people have been deliberately and consciously misled by their government into supporting a major military adventure which affects our collective future.
The “Demonization” of Muslims and the Battle for Oil
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2007-01-04
Muslim countries possess three quarters of the World’s oil reserves. In contrast, the United States of America has barely 2 percent of total oil reserves.
  Was America Attacked by Muslims on 9/11?
- by David Ray Griffin – 2008-09-10
Much of US foreign policy since 9/11 has been based on the assumption that America was attacked by Muslims on 9/11.
  New Documents Detail America’s Strategic Response to 9/11
Rumsfeld’s War Aim: “Significantly Change the World’s Political Map”
- by National Security Archive – 2011-09-12

PART VIII

The Alleged 9/11 Mastermind:

The Life and Death of  Osama bin Laden

Who Is Osama Bin Laden?
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2001-09-12
  VIDEO: The Last Word on Osama Bin Laden
- by James Corbett – 2011-05-24
Osama bin Laden: A Creation of the CIA
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2011-05-03
Interview with Osama bin Laden. Denies his Involvement in 9/11
Full text of Pakistani paper’s Sept 01 “exclusive” interview
- 2011-05-09
Where was Osama on September 11, 2001?
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2008-09-11
On September 10. 2001, Osama was in a Pakistan military hospital in Rawalpindi, courtesy of America’s indefectible ally Pakistan
Osama bin Laden, among the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives”: Why was he never indicted for his alleged role in 9/11?
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2006-09-17
Osama bin Laden: Already Dead… Evidence that Bin Laden has been Dead for Several Years
- by Prof. David Ray Griffin – 2011-05-02
The Mysterious Death of Osama bin Laden: Creating Evidence Where There Is None
- by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts – 2011-08-04
The Assassination of Osama bin Laden: Glaring Anomalies in the Official Narrative
Osama was Left Handed…
- by Felicity Arbuthnot – 2011-05-11
The Assassination of Osama Bin Laden
- by Fidel Castro Ruz – 2011-05-07
Dancing on the Grave of 9/11. Osama and “The Big Lie”
- by Larry Chin – 2011-05-05

PART  IX

 ”False Flags”: The Pentagon’s Second 9/11

The Pentagon’s “Second 911″
“Another [9/11] attack could create both a justification and an opportunity to retaliate against some known targets”
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2006-08-10
The presumption of this military document, is that a Second 911 attack “which is lacking today” would usefully create both a “justification and an opportunity” to wage war on “some known targets
Crying Wolf: Terror Alerts based on Fabricated Intelligence
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2006-08-20
This is not the first time that brash and unsubstantiated statements have been made regarding an impending terror attack, which have proven to be based on “faulty intelligence”.

PART X

“Deep Events” and State Violence

The Doomsday Project and Deep Events: JFK, Watergate, Iran-Contra, and 9/11
- by Prof. Peter Dale Scott – 2011-11-22
The Doomsday Project is the Pentagon’s name for the emergency planning “to keep the White House and Pentagon running during and after a nuclear war or some other major crisis.”
JFK and 9/11
Insights Gained from Studying Both
- by Dr. Peter Dale Scott – 2006-12-20
In both 9/11 and the JFK assassination, the US government and the media immediately established a guilty party. Eventually, in both cases a commission was set up to validate the official narrative.
Able Danger adds twist to 9/11
9/11 Ringleader connected to secret Pentagon operation
- by Dr. Daniele Ganser – 2005-08-27
Atta was connected to a secret operation of the Pentagon’s Special Operations Command (SOCOM) in the US. A top secret Pentagon project code-named Able Danger identified Atta and 3 other 9/11 hijackers as members of an al-Qaida cell more than a year before the attacks.
9/11, Deep State Violence and the Hope of Internet Politics
- by Prof. Peter Dale Scott – 2008-06-11
The unthinkable – that elements inside the state would conspire with criminals to kill innocent civilians – has become thinkable…
Al Qaeda: The Database.
- by Pierre-Henri Bunel – 2011-05-12

PART XI

Propaganda: Creating and Perpetuating the 9/11 Legend

September 11, 2001: The Propaganda Preparation for 9/11: Creating the Osama bin Laden “Legend”
- by Chaim Kupferberg – 2011-09-11
THE 9/11 MYTH: State Propaganda, Historical Revisionism, and the Perpetuation of the 9/11 Myth
- by Prof. James F. Tracy – 2012-05-06
  Al Qaeda and Human Consciousness: Al Qaeda, Al Qaeda…. An Incessant and Repetitive Public Discourse
- by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky – 2012-03-24
9/11 Truth, Inner Consciousness and the “Public Mind”
- by James F. Tracy – 2012-03-18

PART XII

Post 9/11 “Justice”

IRAN ACCUSED OF BEING BEHIND 9/11 ATTACKS.
U.S. Court Judgment, December 2011 (Havlish v. Iran)
- by Julie Lévesque – 2012-05-11
U.S. Court Judgment, December 2011 (Havlish v. Iran)
American Justice”: The Targeted Assassination of Osama Bin Laden
Extrajudicial executions are unlawful
- by Prof. Marjorie Cohn – 2011-05-10
ALLEGED “MASTERMIND” OF 9/11 ON TRIAL IN GUANTANAMO: Military Tribunals proceed Despite Evidence of Torture
- by Tom Carter – 2012-05-30
Self-confessed 9/11 “mastermind” falsely confessed to crimes he didn’t commit
- by Washington’s Blog – 2012-07-15
911 MILITARY TRIAL: Pentagon Clears Way for Military Trial of Five charged in 9/11 Attacks
- by Bill Van Auken – 2012-04-06
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s trial will convict us all
- by Paul Craig Roberts – 2009-11-25

PART XIII

9/11 Truth

Revealing the Lies,  Commemorating the 9/11 Tragedy

VIDEO: Commemorating the 10th Anniversary of 9/11
- by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky – 2011-09-01
VIDEO: AFTER 9/11: TEN YEARS OF WAR
Special GRTV Feature Production
- by James Corbett – 2011-09-08

*   *  *

Read about 9/11 in Michel Chossudovsky’s international best-seller America’s “War on Terrorism”

According to Chossudovsky, the  “war on terrorism” is a complete fabrication based on the illusion that one man, Osama bin Laden, outwitted the $40 billion-a-year American intelligence apparatus. The “war on terrorism” is a war of conquest. Globalisation is the final march to the “New World Order”, dominated by Wall Street and the U.S. military-industrial complex.

Order Directly from Global Research

America's War on Terrorism

On October 5, 2012, the Energy Board of Quebec gave the green light to Hydro-Quebec to begin the Phase 1 of the deployment of “new generation” meters on all buildings in the metropolitan area of Montreal. Then on June 13, 2014, it approved their deployment elsewhere in Quebec, after refusing to reconsider the health effects of the radiofrequency emissions (pulsed microwaves) of these devices, despite the hundreds of testimonies it received about this, and without ordering an impact study, despite repeated requests to that effect.

In fact, hundreds of thousands of Quebecers are very concerned about the effects on their health and that of their family from continuous exposure to these powerful pulsed emissions, with peak emissions exceeding 50,000 microwatts per square meter (µW/m2). This was revealed in a Leger Marketing poll in early April 2014, with 500 respondents from the Greater Montreal, since 63% of them have indicated their concern about this. In addition, 52% of the citizens polled were opposed the continued deployment of these devices if an impact study isn’t performed first to determine whether or not they are harmful to human health.

Alas, like Hydro-Quebec, the Energy Board of Quebec does not care, it seems, since its core mandate is to review the requests from this Crown corporation mainly as to their financial impact on its profitability. And as a matter of fact, because this type of device is precisely designed to allow for time-of-use pricing, 73% of poll respondents fear, once all the meters are deployed, that there will most likely be a rate increase at the times of peak electricity consumption, which could inflate their utility bill by 15 to 20%, as occurred in Ontario and elsewhere.

Worried about having those pesky counters imposed upon them against their will, many citizens have mobilized and, notably, received support from their municipal council in this very unequal struggle. To date, over one hundred municipalities (111 as of August 26, 2014), representing more than two million Quebecers have called for a moratorium on their deployment and/or a free opt-out. Considered to be exorbitant, unfair and punitive damages ($17 per month plus $98 initially), the fees for a “non communicating” meter (with no radiofrequency transmitter) are only intended to deter customers from opting-out. That didn’t stop more than 5600 households to do so, as of May 1st. And that’s not counting the tens of thousands who managed to prevent installers from taking away their old and safe electromechanical meters, which are apparently three times more durable than those fragile “smart” meters, that will need to be replaced every 15 years.

However, due to the numerous pleas it received, Hydro-Quebec has agreed to reduce its opting-out fees which, once approved by the energy board, would be $48 for the installation of a non communicating meter and $8 per month for manual meter reading of the electricity consumption – all the details HERE. It’s not free as requested, but at least the efforts of opponents will not have been wasted! And the pill will be less hard to swallow for the 1.8 million customers who already had these dangerous devices forced upon them, and who want to get rid of them.

Nevertheless, one must know that the World Health Organization has classified those radiofrequencies (RF) as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” in 2011, and thousands of independent scientific studies have also shown that repeated exposure to low RF levels can be genotoxic (DNA breakage) and neurotoxic (various neurological consequences). If Hydro-Quebec is so adamant on imposing this technology, it is because it can hide behind Health Canada’s Safety Code 6, its outdated RF exposure guidelines adopted in 1979. Indeed, this Code 6 recognizes only thermal (warming) effects from RF and ignores the biological effects observed at exposure levels as low as 100 µW/m2 (maximum recommended within a house by the Council of Europe). Health Canada claims that there is no possible biological effects below the 6 million µW/m2 permitted by the Code 6, while countries like Switzerland, Italy, Russia and China have adopted exposure limitations much more stringent, in order to abide by the precautionary principle.

But the problems with this technology don’t stop there. With the highly detailed power consumption data these meters send to Hydro-Quebec, it is possible to draw a clear picture of our lifestyles and even of the types of devices we own. Despite their encryption, hackers, and even the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) or the National Security Agency (NSA) could get their hands on this data, and thus be able to surreptitiously monitor our every move within the sanctuary of our home. In addition to being a potential violation of privacy and a serious health risk which, in the long run, could multiply the number of cases of the nightmarish electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS), these devices have the tendency to catch fire when their built-in protection against power surges fails. The EMF Safety Network compiles the cases of smart meters that have caused fires.

If all of this above has convinced you to resist, know that you are not alone. Over 5700 Quebecers have signed a petition indicating their desire to not contend with such a risk. To join them and learn more, visit JeGardeMonCompteur.com. Be sure to read the testimonials of people already affected. And talk about this to others, even if, unfortunately, for many it’s already too late…

Jean Hudon is the co-founder and webmaster of the Coalition québécoise de lutte contre la pollution électromagnétique (CQLPE – Quebec’s Coalition Against Electromagnetic Pollution), and a member of the organizing committee of the campaign Je garde mon compteur.

This article was first published by Global Research on June 13, 2002. You can access the original archive here.

In the immediate aftermath of the destruction of the World Trade Center, the finger of guilt was directed toward the only plausible author for such a sophisticated and ruthless act of terror – Osama bin Laden.

Throughout the late ’90′s, we were informed that bin Laden had declared war on America by reason of the American military presence on Saudi soil in the wake of the Persian Gulf War. We were told how bin Laden, ensconced in Afghanistan, headed up a world-wide terror franchise whose sophistication and global reach dwarfed that of the Iranian-financed Hizballah or Islamic Jihad (previously, the most widely known of the terror organizations among the masses in the Middle East). Bin Laden’s organization, al-Qaida, was presented to us as something entirely new in the annals of terrorism – a far-flung, sophisticated empire of terror, possessing – possibly – weapons of mass destruction, while having no clear or viable state sponsor behind it (as the Afghani Taliban were merely its resident protectors).  In short, by September 11, the United States now had a bona fide enemy – and, as they say in criminal justice parlance, a suspect with motive, means, and opportunity.

And while I was a bit taken at how quickly – and confidently – the fingers were pointing only hours after the 9/11 bombings, I was positively shaken by the first red flag that popped up. His name was John O’Neill – or more precisely, he is the seam that shows. Dated September 12, in a Washington Post article by Vernon Loeb, it was revealed that O’Neill, who died in his capacity as head of security for the World Trade Center, was also formerly the New York FBI Counterterror chief responsible for the investigation into Osama bin Laden. That could perhaps be written off as one of those freak synchronicities. There were the other items – reported quite blandly, in that “there’s nothing to see here, folks” tone – that gave me that sinking feeling. Apparently, O’Neill had a falling-out with the Ambassador to Yemen over his investigative style and was banned from returning there. But then there was that other nugget that I had trouble digesting – that O’Neill had resigned from a thirty-year career in the FBI “under a cloud” over an incident in Tampa – and then left to take up the security position at the WTC (only two weeks before!).

The seam that shows…

For the bulk of his career, like most of his FBI colleagues, John O’Neill was largely unknown to the public at large – respected in his circle, to be sure, yet scarcely meriting much mention in the media – beyond being referenced now and then as an expert on counterterrorism. Yet in the few months leading up to September 11, O’Neill was now suddenly the subject of a series of seemingly unrelated controversies – the first, in July, involving his dispute with the State Department over the conduct of the bin Laden investigation in Yemen; and the second, in August, in which he was reported to be under an FBI probe for misplacing a briefcase of classified documents during an FBI convention in Tampa.

In the light of the aftermath of this second controversy – the documents were found, “untouched”, a few hours later – one wonders why this seemingly minor news would merit such lengthy coverage in the Washington Post and New York Times. Keeping in mind the fact that these latter articles on O’Neill appeared a mere three weeks before he was to die in the rubble of the Twin Towers, one wonders if this wasn’t a well-orchestrated smear campaign against O’Neill, with a bit of unintended “blowback” – as this now-discredited counterterror chief in charge of all bin Laden bombings would finally make the news as a fatal casualty of bin Laden’s final bombing. Coincidence? Or was there something more here that would bear investigating?

My gut told me that, in the months preceding September 11, somebody was out to either discredit John O’Neill or, alternatively, to plant disinformation that could later be used to divert any investigator from a fruitful reconstruction of the forces behind 9/11.  Or, quite possibly, was a mistake made – one pointing the way toward a plan whose scope goes well beyond the designs of Osama bin Laden? In other words, could we spot the telltale fingerprints of a propaganda campaign preceding 9/11?

Well, as they say, a hypothesis is only as good as its usefulness in ferreting out reality. My hypothesis: that the events of September 11 were planned by those who not only had the motive, means, and opportunity to carry out the plan, but also were best placed to manage the consequences stemming from it, as well as managing the flow of information. If this were an “inside job”, the first thing to do was to look at who conveyed specific information on bin Laden before – and I stress, before – 9/11, for they were most likely involved wittingly or not with those who masterminded it.

Virtually the first “smoking gun” was presented the day after 9/11, when Vernon Loeb and Dan Eggen reported in the Post that Abdel Bari Atwan, editor of the Al-Quds al Arabi newspaper in London, “received information that he [bin Laden] planned very, very big attacks against American interests” only three weeks before 9/11. Moreover, the article reported that Atwan “was convinced that Islamic fundamentalists aligned with bin Laden were ‘almost certainly’ behind the attacks.” Incidentally, Atwan had personally interviewed bin Laden in Afghanistan in 1996 – among the very few to do so. As reported by Michael Evans in the August 24, 1998 issue of The Times, Atwan “is trusted by bin Laden.”

Curious, perhaps, that Atwan seemed to be one of the major “point men” used in elaborating the Osama bin Laden “legend”, as they say in intelligence parlance. In a U.S. News article dated August 31, 1998, Atwan informs us that bin Laden “is a humble man who lives simply, eating fried eggs, tasteless low-fat cheese, and bread gritty with sand. He hates America.” No flash in the pan, this interviewer. Apparently, bin Laden kept Atwan’s business card tucked away in his toga pocket. “Bin Laden phoned this newspaper, phoned me last Friday,” Atwan revealed in an ABC News LateLine Transcript dated August 25, 1998. We’ll come back to ABC News shortly.

While solidly implicating bin Laden the day after 9/11, Atwan was also the media’s “go-to” guy back in 1998 when he informed us, after President Clinton bombed tool sheds in Afghanistan, that bin Laden issued this threat against the United States: “The battle has not started yet. The response will be with action and not words.” In the same article (which I took from Nando Times), ABC News is the source for an additional threat called in by Ayman al-Zawahiri, a senior bin Laden aide: “The war has just started. The Americans should wait for the answer.” Only a few months before that, ABC had conducted its televised interview of bin Laden. By the summer of 1998, primed by Atwan, ABC NEWS, and a surprisingly small clique of well-worn sources, we had come to know bin Laden as America’s latest “Saddam”, “Qaddafi”, “Noriega” – take your pick and set your bomb sites.

By October 2000, when the U.S.S. Cole was bombed in Yemen, in case there was any doubt, Atwan offered Reuters his helpful analysis with regards to the source of blame: “I do not rule out that this was undertaken by Osama bin Laden. Yemeni groups don’t have the experience to carry out this kind of operation.”  Atwan informed Reuters that bin Laden “was unlikely to claim direct responsibility for Thursday’s attack for fear of U.S. reprisals.” One can imagine, then, that Atwan gave his trusting phone mate cause for many a sleepless night. With friends like these…

Leading up to 9/11, by the Spring of 2001, an incriminating wedding videotape, apparently implicating bin Laden in the Yemen bombing, was circulating around the Middle East after being broadcast on the ubiquitous al-Jazeera television station (reconstituted from the BBC TV Arabic Service – more on them later). In the video, bin Laden, according to the Saudi-owned al-Hayat newspaper (more on them later, too), recited a poem celebrating the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole (shades of deja vu here?) This from the ABCNEWS.com site dated March 1: “Al-Hayat, which carried a photo of bin Laden and his son at the wedding, said its correspondent was the only journalist at the ceremony, also attended by bin Laden’s mother, two brothers and sister who flew to Kandahar from Saudi Arabia.”

And yes, here, too, Atwan offers his thoughtful review of the bin Laden video, courtesy of PTI, datelined London June 22, 2001: “[Atwan] said the video was proof that the fugitive Saudi millionaire [the Bruce Wayne of terrorists] was fit, well equipped and confident enough to send out a call to arms.” Why this sudden need for proof? According to Atwan in the same article: “There have been rumours that [bin Laden] is ill and that he is being contained by the Taliban in Afghanistan. It is quite clear from the film that he is in good health to the point where he can fire a rifle, and is free to operate as he chooses.” In other words, limber enough for his starring role in the months ahead.

So who is Abdel Bari Atwan and why is he anxious to tell us so much? According to the Winter 1999 issue of INEAS (Institute of Near Eastern and African Studies), Abdel Bari Atwan, a Palestinian, was born in a refugee camp in the Gaza Strip in 1950. Educated at the American University of Cairo, Atwan moved to Saudi Arabia and worked as a writer for the al-Madina newspaper. In 1978, he moved to London, where he became a correspondent for the Saudi-owned Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper. In 1988, after shuffling around between Saudi-owned papers, Atwan was offered a position as editor of al-Quds al-Arabi. By his account, he was offered a position as the executive editor of the Saudi-owned al-Hayat (of the bin Laden wedding video coup), yet turned it down to produce a more independent newspaper as a challenge to the “empires” of the Saudi-dominated dailies.

Al-Quds began production in April 1989. A little more than a year later, Saddam invaded Kuwait and al-Quds stood alone as the only Arab newspaper opposed to the Persian Gulf War – at least by Atwan’s account. According to Atwan: “Without the Gulf War, we wouldn’t have taken such political lines, which made us well recognized and well respected.” In November 1996, Bari-Atwan braved a twelve-hour car ride through muddy roads, attired in shabby Afghani rags in below-zero weather, and gave us the early scoop on bin Laden, conducting a one-on-one interview in bin Laden’s [bat]cave. From then on, the mainstream media – CNN, ABC, BBC, Sky News – looked to Bari-Atwan and al-Quds as the “independent” voice of the Arab street.

Incidentally, in a discussion concerning the matter of Saudi domination of the Arabic media, taken from the Carryon.oneworld.org site, Atwan, as editor of his struggling independent, was facing off against Jihad Khazen, the editor of the Saudi-owned al-Hayat. As Atwan proudly related in support of his independence: “One day I was called by the BBC-TV Arabic service [whose staff later reconstituted itself as al-Jazeera television]: ‘There’s a story on your front page today, saying such and such. Is it true?’ I asked why he should doubt it and he replied: ‘It’s not published in al-Hayat [his job offer] or al-Sharq al-Awsat [his alma mater].’ ” Atwan boasts: “At least I can say we are 95 to 96 per cent independent” – leaving out the 4 to 5 per cent spent on bin Laden, I presume. Whether or not al-Quds truly is independent, this is the cover story the mainstream media buys into when they come trolling for their “independent” evidence.

So, to elaborate further on this (so far) fruitful hypothesis, it is my contention that al-Qaida and bin Laden are elaborate “legends” set up to promote a plausibly sophisticated and ferocious enemy to stand against American interests. I am not, however, implying that bin Laden himself is a total fabrication. Rather, it is my contention that confederates, believing themselves to act on behalf of bin Laden, are being set up in a “false flag operation” to perform operations as their controllers see fit.  And who are these controllers? If they’re anything resembling the folks who brought you Hizbullah and Hamas, you wouldn’t be sweating the suitcase nukes (made in America), the Ames strain anthrax (made in America), the MI5-like “sleeper agents” and coded “go” messages. Instead, you would be dodging primitive nail bombs and road mines – and not needing Abdel Bari Atwan to feed you the lowdown on the blame.

In view of the fact that bin Laden is of Saudi origin, that much of the “evidence” on the Arab side initially originated from Saudi-owned or Gulf Anglo-client state sources, and that Saudi Arabia is the major financial sponsor of the Taliban brand of fundamentalism in Afghanistan (as a counter-point to Iran), I believe it is fair to say that Saudi Arabia might possibly be implicated. ” Most likely, the Saudis performed their roles as subservient proxies. We’ll get to the ultimate controllers soon enough (if you haven’t already guessed where this is going). And now, to fill out the picture further, it is necessary to name an equally essential partner as proxy – Pakistan, or, more specifically, Pakistan’s version of the CIA – the ISI (Interservices Intelligence Directorate).

And this is where we begin to “close the circle” of our close-knit pre-9/11 propaganda clique. Returning again to the above-mentioned Dan Eggen and Vernon Loeb Post article of September 12, we’re offered – in a powerful little side-bar – more critical evidence implicating bin Laden for the attacks the day before. This time, the bombshell is offered by Palestinian journalist Jamal Ismail, Abu Dhabi Television’s bureau chief in Islamabad. According to Ismail, a bin Laden aide called him “early Wednesday on a satellite telephone from a hide-out in Afghanistan,” praising the attack yet denying any responsibility for it.  As it turns out, Ismail was also among the select few to conduct his very own bin Laden interview, published by Newsweek in its April 1, 1999 issue. Here is how Newsweek described Ismail’s good fortune: “Palestinian journalist Jamal Ismail’s mobile phone rang just before prayers on December 18. ‘Peace be upon you, ‘ said the voice on the line. ‘You may not recognize me, but I know you.’ ” And thus was Jamal Ismail invited on his own mud-soaked incursion to the bin Laden [bat]cave.

Searching deeper, I found an interesting obscure article penned by respected Pakistani journalist Rahimullah Yusufszai in The News Jang, and dated May 3, 2000.  It details the detention of two men of Kurdish origin, accused by the Taliban of spying for American and Israeli intelligence. As Yusufszai relates it, he spoke to the only journalists allowed by the Taliban to interview the detained men – Jamal Ismail and his cameraman. Apparently, Ismail had a special relationship with the Taliban, allowing him this rare privilege above other journalists. And, as we shall shortly see, so does Yusufszai.  One wonders who debriefs them at the end of a workday. But more interestingly, by May 5, as reported by Kathy Gannon for the Associated Press, the story acquires – as they say – “new legs.” Not only are the basic elements of the Yusufszai story mentioned, but the article leads off with the bombshell that one of the detained men revealed that he was recruited by the United States to find Osama bin Laden. It finishes with a little coda implicating bin Laden in the 1998 embassy bombings. Thus, in the space of two days, Yusufszai’s Pakistani “spy” article sprouts a bin Laden addition when fertilized by the American Associated Press – and nicely provides a plausible explanation as to why a Kurd would be prowling around Afghanistan on behalf of the United States.

Yusufszai, incidentally, moonlighted as an ABC News producer, charged with guiding ABC News correspondent John Miller through the Afghani marshes to the bin Laden [bat]cave – one of the very few American journalists to be accorded such an honour (and also, as it happens, a good friend of bin Laden arch-foe John O’Neill. But not chummy enough to direct O’Neill on to bin Laden’s hideaway). Moreover, Ismail and Yusufszai are mentioned together in a CNN article posted January 4, 1999 – the former for his Newsweek interview, the latter for his own bin Laden dialogue for TIME Magazine the day later.

Rahimullah Yusufszai, regarded by New York Times reporters John Burns and Steve LeVine as “one man who has seen more of the Taliban than any other outsider,” is also named by The Nation, in its article of January 27, 1997, as “one of the favourite journalists of [Pakistan's] ISI…one of the organizations funding and arming the Taliban. ”

It’s a small world after all. In the September 29, 2001 article of PressPlus, Yusufszai’s ABC colleague, John Miller, mused about running into his buddy John O’Neill in Yemen while reporting on the U.S.S. Cole bombing the year before. “He said, ‘So this is the Elaine’s of Yemen.’ ”

“There is a terrible irony to all this,” Miller said. I’ll say: Miller, one of the very few Americans who can give a first-hand account of bin Laden, bumps into his friend, bin Laden’s chief investigator, while both are investigating a bombing in Yemen that will later be tagged onto bin Laden – and only a year before O’Neill dies at the hands of… allegedly …bin Laden.

Now, following the logic of my hypothesis, if the bin Laden threat was, pre-9/11, a close-knit propaganda campaign, one would expect to find the same names showing up repeatedly in combination with one another. This, too, applies to the American commentators. Let us return to the August 1998 American bombings of bin Laden’s tool sheds as an example. The night of the bombing, Rahimullah Yusufszai received a call from bin Laden aide Ayman al-Zawahiri, in a report from the Associated Press. Later, Yusufszai obtained for ABC News exclusive photos of the damage to bin Laden’s camp. Further commentary describing the layout of the bin Laden camp was furnished to the Washington Post by former CIA analyst and terrorism expert Kenneth Katzman, as well as Harvey Kushner of Long Island University. Only little more than a week before that, Katzman and Kushner were offering their assessment of bin Laden’s culpability for the embassy bombings in Africa in a Washington Post article penned by Vernon Loeb and Walter Pincus. They were joined in this effort by Vincent Cannistraro, the ABC news analyst who also escorted John Miller to his bin Laden interview, as well as provided running commentary in the days immediately following 9/11. Cannistraro, a former CIA counterterrorism chief, provided covert aid to the Afghani mujaheddin in the late ’80′s, as well as supervised CIA operations with the contras. He was also one of the point men in the notoriously circumspect investigation at Lockerbie. In the above-noted Loeb and Pincus article – in which bin Laden is quoted from the ABC News Miller and Yusufszai interview – Cannistraro weighs in with his assessment of the embassy bombings: “I believe Osama bin Laden is the sponsor of this operation, and I think all of the indications are pointing that way.”

Soon after the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole in Yemen, a Vernon Loeb Post article, dated October 13, 2000, proceeded to implicate bin Laden through the detailed information provided by Kushner, Katzman, and Cannistraro.  Earlier, in a Vernon Loeb Post article dated July 3, 2000, Yusufszai, Kushner, and Cannistraro unveiled bin Laden aides Ayman al-Zawahiri and Muhammed Atef as the men to watch as bin Laden’s likely successors, with a helpful tidbit on the Zawahiri biography thrown in by the Saudi-owned al-Sharq al-Awsat.

None of the above, of course, is offered as the “smoking gun” pointing the way to a propaganda conspiracy, nor are my chosen examples meant to be exhaustive in evidencing this point. According to Felicity Barringer, in a New York Times article dated September 24, 2001:  ”A good deal of the public information on bin Laden comes from the journalists who went to Afghanistan to interview him, including [Peter] Bergen, … Peter Arnett, John Miller, Rahimullah Yusufzai, and Jamal Ismail.”  The article further makes reference to Vernon Loeb, Al Quds al-Arabi (Atwan), Judith Miller, Al Jazeera, and Brian Jenkins (formerly of Kroll Associates – the security firm that obtained the WTC position for John O’Neill by way of Jerry Hauer).  Clearly, I have also not heretofore made mention of the other experts who have worked assiduously toward building our knowledge base on bin Laden – Steven Emerson, Daniel Pipes, Yossef Bodansky, and various British and EU elites. However, the above examples do show how the information flow on bin Laden could be plausibly managed by the skilfully placed revelations of a relatively insular clique of “experts” called upon repeatedly by the mainstream media.

Here is how it would work:  A relatively few well-connected correspondents provide the “scoops” that get the coverage in the relatively few mainstream news sources – the four TV networks, TIME, Newsweek, CNN – where the parameters of debate are set and the “official reality” is consecrated for the bottom feeders in the news chain. In other countries, this is what is known as propaganda – or, put less politely, psychological warfare.

But before I leave this topic, I would like to provide an example of “news management” that is revealing for what is omitted – that is, the “smoking gun” of Pakistani ISI involvement in the events of 9/11.  On October 9, 2001, the Times of India dropped this little bombshell:  “Top sources confirmed here on Tuesday that [ISI Chief Mahmud Ahmad] lost his job because of the “evidence” India produced to show his links to one of the suicide bombers that wrecked the World Trade Centre. The US authorities sought his removal after confirming the fact that $100,000 were wired to WTC hijacker Mohammed Atta from Pakistan by Ahmad Umar Sheikh at the instance of Gen. Mahmud.”

What makes this particular piece so devastating is that only days before, much of the mainstream American media was touting the news of a “key link” in the chain of evidence linking bin Laden to the events of September 11 – namely, a $100,000 wire transfer to the hijackers from a shadowy operative linked to bin Laden.  Yet once this operative was “outed” as being linked instead to the Pakistani ISI Chief, any propaganda gains initially made through this evidence would now crumble.  One possible reason might stem from this Karachi News item, released only two days before September 11:

“[Pakistani] ISI Chief Lt-Gen Mahmood’s week-long presence in Washington has triggered speculation about the agenda of his mysterious meetings at the Pentagon and National Security Council. Officially, State Department sources say he is on a routine visit in return to [sic] CIA Director George Tenet’s earlier visit to Islamabad…What added interest to his visit is the history of such visits. Last time Ziauddin Butt, Mahmood’s predecessor, was here during Nawaz Sharif’s government the domestic politics turned topsy-turvy within days. That this is not the first visit by Mahmood in the last three months shows the urgency of the ongoing parleys…”

In other words, this was a propaganda piece that went disastrously wrong. After October 9, bin Laden’s alleged paymaster could now be linked to a U.S. “ally” who spent the days before 9/11 in deep consultation at the Pentagon.  The US authorities immediately went into damage control mode by insisting on the quiet retirement of the “outed” ISI chief. Thus removed from the public eye, the ISI Chief’s role in all this could be effectively ignored, and an American media black-out could be safely assumed.

Such a scenario certainly fits in snugly with my hypothesis, which I will now proceed to elaborate completely. The events of September 11 were masterminded by those who were in the best position to manage the consequences – namely, those most able to manage the flow of information, those most able to coordinate all the elements necessary for the perpetration of a successful operation (subverting airport security, guiding the planes to their specific targets), and most significantly, those who stood to reasonably benefit in the aftermath. Conspiracies, by their very nature, are not crimes of passion. They may involve rational, albeit cold-blooded, attempts to achieve a desired end by employing the most effective means available. It is for this reason that “mainstream” terror groups like Hamas and Hizbullah largely avoid attacking American interests where such attacks would serve no practical interest. For all their talk of Jihad, these terror groups tend to plan their specific attacks with an eye to the consequences that could reasonably be expected to follow. Thus, knowing the moral and political constraints of Israeli deterrent strategies, they calibrate their attacks to elicit consequences that are most tolerable for them – and hence, manageable. Yet surely, in the light of the cult of suicidal martyrdom, such considerations no longer hold sway. Perhaps. But then, in the case of such a far-flung anti-Zionist movement as al-Qaida, one would expect at least a little more exertion against Israeli interests than has heretofore prevailed – unless, of course, the “point” of al-Qaida was to provide a plausible dire threat to American interests where none had then existed. In any case, as nobody has noticed this particular anomaly, there was no need for any needless exertion of resources in order to bolster a credibility that needed no bolstering in this one particular sector.

Motive, means, and opportunity. While I presented the Saudis and Pakistani intelligence as clear-cut proxies, the only motive these elements would have to benefit from a crime of this nature is an assurance that no punishment would be forthcoming but rather, they would be on the right side of power and wealth among those in a position to determine the booty.

Another anomaly: on the very day that the ISI Chief was in deep consultation at the Pentagon, Ahmed Shah Massoud, the head of the Afghani Northern Alliance – a cultishly popular figure within that group, and a mortal foe of Pakistan’s ISI – was assassinated by two terrorists posing as cameramen. Keeping in mind the fact that, throughout the ’90′s, American leaders such as Clinton, and American companies such as Unocal, were largely throwing their support over to the Taliban in opposition to the Northern Alliance (or United Front), it seems rather convenient that, in the aftermath of 9/11, the way was now cleared for the Northern Alliance to be co-opted as an instrument for setting up a more pliant Afghani government (now headed, incidentally, by a former consultant to Unocal).

So who are the ultimate controllers? To begin with, the circumstantial evidence seems to point to an operative clique primarily based out of New York City and the State of Florida. I stress the word “operative”, as this clique appears to consist of subservient agents involved in laying the preparations. Once again, John O’Neill serves as an effective Rosetta Stone in interpreting the raw outlines of this operative clique (which is by no means a “rogue” clique). The FBI and CIA elements involved in counterterrorism have a checkered past. For one, Oliver North in the 1980′s served as Counterterrorism Chief while he used his office as a cover to deal with such narco-terrorists as Monzar al-Kassar (who figures in the crash at Lockerbie – also investigated by Cannistraro). In the late ’90′s, O’Neill was transferred from the federal office of Counterrorism to the New York Counterrorism Office of the FBI – and it was the New York branch which was then designated as the primary investigator of all overseas investigations involving bin Laden. Moreover, this branch was also involved in the somewhat suspect investigation of TWA 800 – investigated by O’Neill and reported upon by ABC’s John Miller, who was formerly the Deputy Police Commissioner of Public Relations for the NYPD before he joined up with ABC.

As regards New York, there is another element involved in germ warfare operations. Actually, a multi-million dollar bunker – serving as a command and control center in the event of a biological attack – was set up at 7 World Trade Center at the direction of Rudolph Giuliani, who also oversaw the mass spraying of malathion over the boroughs of New York City when the West Nile Virus hit town a few summers previously.  The man Giuliani placed in charge of that operation, Jerry Hauer, also happened to be the man who found John O’Neill the position at the World Trade Center, as well as being the one who – by his own admission – identified O’Neill’s body.

Moreover, there has been a widespread campaign on to link the threat of al-Qaida with that of a mass biological attack. At least the day after September 11, the link – as the Anthrax mailings had yet to arise – was not so apparent. Yet on PBS’ Frontline, the New York Times’ Judith Miller (no apparent relation to John Miller, as far as I’m aware), accompanied by the New York Times’ James Risen, was interviewed as an expert on al-Qaida. Several weeks later, Judith Miller would once more make the headlines as the apparent recipient of an anthrax mailing which turned out to be a false alarm – yet was all the same conveniently timed with the well-publicized launching of her book on…germ warfare. As was later discovered, the anthrax mailings petered out once the news leaked that a DNA test revealed the material to be of the Ames strain of anthrax, an agent synthesized out of a CIA laboratory in Fort Detrick, Maryland.  Nevertheless, this was sufficient to fast-track Bioport’s exclusive license for the anthrax vaccine toward FDA approval. Formerly, Bioport’s experimental anthrax vaccine was being forcibly administered – under threat of court-martial – to hundreds of thousands of American servicemen (in conformity with Bioport’s exclusive and lucrative contract with the Department of Defense).

Incidentally, Judith Miller, along with Jerry Hauer, was among 17 “key” participants in a biowarfare exercise known as “Dark Winter” – a think tank-funded scenario that aimed to study the nationwide effects of a hypothetical smallpox outbreak.  One of the sponsors of that exercise was the Anser Institute of Homeland Security, an organization established before September 11, 2001.  Interestingly enough, the curious phrase “homeland security” was starting to creep up with increasing frequency in the vocabularies of certain political cliques (Dick Cheney, the Hart-Rudman Commission, et al.) in the year or two leading up to 9/11.

The point of the above-noted information is to draw attention to an apparent propaganda campaign to prepare the public for a catastrophic biological attack. As with the Twin Towers, the blame for any coming attack may be duly and plausibly assigned by those who carefully laid the groundwork in preparing us for this eventuality.

As for Florida, the connection with this state is obvious, for not only was the first anthrax mailing directed to the Florida offices of the National Enquirer, but many of the accused hijackers were also reported to receive their pilot training from flight schools in Venice and Tampa. Notably, it was a Florida bank account to which hijacker Mohamed Atta allegedly deposited his 9/11 pay cheque.  Moreover, Florida, by way of the MacDill Air Force Base, is also Central Command for the war in Afghanistan.  In addition to its function as Central Command for the war on terrorism, MacDill is -outside of Langley – also a major base of the CIA. Thus, in the CIA’s own backyard, we find the infrastructure and financial support that went into the planning for the events of 9/11. And, as we so often find with events surrounding 9/11, another synchronicity – for coincidentally enough, the woman who reportedly happened to find an apartment for one of the alleged hijackers was the wife of the senior editor of the National Enquirer. Moreover, her husband, Michael Irish, also happened to make use of an airfield that reportedly served as flight training for some of the hijackers. I emphasize the word “reportedly,” as the possibility always exists that this “reported fact” may be nothing more than disinformation, strategically placed to divert attention from a possibly more subtle truth.  In intelligence operations, foreign assets are often placed with resident “controllers” whose job it is to supervise the asset as well as provide accommodations as the need arises. Who are Michael and Gloria Irish? Or, perhaps more revealingly, what kind of social circles do they run with? This is certainly an avenue worth exploring – by reason of its many synchrocities if for nothing else. Again, the seam that shows.

As a little side-note, Tampa experienced its own mass spraying of malathion, a mutagenic pesticide, when it encountered a med fly outbreak the year before New York’s West Nile outbreak.  In the end, the flies were contained through a sterile med fly program administered out of MacDill Air Force base.

So, to sum up, it appears that the events of September 11 were planned years in advance, with the groundwork being carefully laid by a propaganda campaign orchestrated to convince the public that the United States has a plausibly sophisticated nemesis with the motive, means, and opportunity to perpetrate a devastating act of terror against Americans. Toward that end, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have been used as the primary proxy agents to run a “false flag” operation, setting up and financing the infrastructure of al-Qaida in Afghanistan. Through madrassas based in Pakistan, Saudi and Yemenite militants were instructed in the Saudi brand of Wahabbi Islam, and subsequently “graduated” to the camps that were set up in Afghanistan – again, under Saudi and Pakistani sponsorship. Stateside, the operative agents were mostly based out of New York City and Florida. In the aftermath of 9/11, elements in the American government are now widely disseminating information in vast quantities, overwhelming the populace and lending credibility to the government’s version of events. Thus, post-9/11, the actions of this formerly insular propaganda clique are no longer perceptible. Information is now being doled out in generous portions to credulous reporters who are outside the loop, yet perform their unwitting service as “bottom feeders” in the downward flow of information.

In all cases, the actions of these proxy agents and operative planners are sufficiently distanced and compartmentalized from the true masterminds to create a condition of “plausible deniability”. In short, the proxies have also been set up as possible patsies with evidence that has been carefully laid to incriminate them should cracks in the “official story” become too discernible. Moreover, the groundwork has already been carefully laid to cast aspersions on another convenient patsy – the Jews, by way of the State of Israel and its supporters. Already, for those prone to perceive Jewish conspiracies, the reliable vein of anti-Semitism – combined with anti-Zionism – has been mined to distract the masses and to create a modern version of the ritual blood libel, thereby further “muddying the waters” should the true masterminds be threatened with exposure. In other words, the present difficulties in the Middle East work perfectly to set up the State of Israel as a plausible alternative suspect with motive, means, and opportunity. Toward that end, a low-level “buzz” has been circulating over the Internet (and especially in Europe) of an Israeli spy ring that was rounded up in the days after September 11.  Whether or not these reports are credible is not the point.  Most likely, there was a spy ring operating, and various Israelis were unwittingly set up as patsies, to be exposed should the need arise. Thus, while evidence may be marshaled to taint the Saudis, Pakistanis, or Israelis, the real guilt must inevitably lie with those in the best position to manage the flow of information as well as reliably benefit from the new order created, primarily, the political and corporate elites of the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union – also, as it happens, the very parties orchestrating the global war on terrorism. In this respect, the Saudis, Pakistanis, or Israelis have far less to gain (other than the benefits of going along with the designs of the rich and mighty).

I could go on and further highlight the obvious geostrategic gains of those who are clearly managing the flow of information – the proverbial pipelines, oil, wealth, and so forth. But I think those purported benefits are a bit of a “red herring” – more of a side benefit than the main motivating factor. Americans and their allies would have easily supported a thrust into Afghanistan for a provocation far less costly and bloody than this (such as Kuwait in the early ’90′s).  It is no small act to intentionally take down such an overarching symbol of financial stability as the Twin Towers, and chance killing thousands in the process. Such a conspiracy, if in fact perpetrated from within, would by its nature necessitate a huge structural, cultural, and demographic change. The very brazenness of the act, the naked aggression, would necessitate a tenacious determination to achieve the ends for which these actions were perpetrated.  There is no going back now. An infrastructure is being laid out – one that will, finally, provide a dissident-proof totalitarian oligarchy composed of like-minded elites served by an under-class kept under constant surveillance. The edifice of this regime is being constructed, brick by brick, with the mortar of the Office of Homeland Security (to centralize and coordinate an effective police state), the Freedom Corps (to indoctrinate the most idealist – and therefore activist – elements of the populace toward service to the state), and the Patriot Act (to provide the legal basis for subverting long-held rights under the screen of national security). If all of this sounds strangely familiar, if it is redolent of Huxley and Orwell, that is perhaps because Huxley and Orwell were both intimately involved with the elites of their time – in fact, were fully subsumed among them – in ways that made their future projections abundantly prescient, and, in their minds, inevitable. With further refinements in mind control technologies – yes, they do exist – as well as the monopolization of the food supply by way of sterile seed “terminator technology” – the approval for which was granted in the months following 9/11 – the masses may be perpetually culled and exploited by those who hold the keys to this fully managed society.

If this notion of reality strikes you as somewhat dissonant, at odds with your own personal experience, it may be perhaps that we have not quite arrived there yet, and that you have personally not felt the corrosive lash of political corruption and governmental malfeasance. In all likelihood, you have not read the mountain of evidence detailing political and elite deviant behaviour in this country. You may even be dismissive of “conspiracy theories”, yet wholly unaware of the well-documented attempts by the CIA and FBI to subvert, surveil, and propagandize the populace through programs such as Project Mockingbird (media infiltration) and MK-Ultra (mind control through chemical, hypnotic, or electro-magnetic means). These programs are effected primarily through “think tanks” that are set up across the United States for the purpose of disseminating information and propaganda under the rubric of “expertise”. Moreover, various foundations, such as the Rockefeller or Ford Foundations, are often used as funnels to finance and feed the arteries of these propaganda networks. In the 1970′s, a good deal of this structural corruption was officially exposed – in a “limited hang-out” – by way of the Church Commission, as well as the House Select Committee on Assassinations. Thereafter, much of the most damaging revelations were played down or ignored by the mainstream media, and the waters were then muddied by a stream of outlandish conspiracy theories – aliens, Elvis, etc. – that merely served to discredit the information that was most credible. “Muddying the waters”, incidentally, is a tried and true staple of the intelligence craft.

It is really just a matter of familiarizing yourself with all the documented anomalies that do not accord with the received, mainstream reality put forth to you by the mainstream media. As a practical guide to begin, you might want to confine your search to strictly “mainstream” sources, as I have sought to do in attempting to construct my case on 9/11. My evidence is by no means exhaustive. In fact, it is merely the proverbial tip of the iceberg. Yet proceeding in this direction, under my hypothesis, has been most fruitful in analyzing the various anomalies that pop up now and then.

Any simple keyword search of the following terms may be helpful in pointing toward a more substantive understanding of the elites who ultimately guide your fortunes: “Iran-Contra” , “Mena”, “BCCI”, “Project Paperclip”, “Michael Aquino”, “Paul Bonacci”, “Operation Northwoods”, “MK-Ultra”. Much of the information on these topics is credible and well-documented. More disturbingly, it highlights behavior committed by the very same elites who are now interpreting the events of 9/11 for you. Read for yourself, and decide, at the end of the day, how much credibility you will continue to accord to those who claim to be the proper trustees of your fate and well-being.

Chaim  Kupferberg is a freelance researcher and writer.

Project Censored Editors note: The full version of this study with all of the citations will be published in Censored 2015: Inspiring We the People, edited by Andy Lee Roth, Mickey Huff, and Project Censored, Seven Stories Press, official release date October 7, 2014. 

According to newspaper accounts over 1,500 people die annually in the US in law enforcement related deaths. These are all deaths in the presence of law enforcement personnel both on the street and in local jails.  Infamous cases such as Andy Lopez, Oscar Grant, and Michael Brown are only the tip of the iceberg. Many hundreds more are killed annually and these deaths by police are almost always ruled justifiable, even when victims are unarmed or shot in the back running away. We interviewed 14 families who lost loved ones in law enforcement related deaths in the SF Bay Area from 2000-2010. All the families believe their loved one should not have been killed and most felt that the police over-reacted and murdered their family member. All families reported abuse by police after the deaths.  Most also reported that the corporate media was biased in favor of the police and failed to accurately report the real circumstances of the death.

Beginning in 1996 activists in New York organized a national protest day on October 22 each year. The October 22nd Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation says that they “bring forward a united, powerful, visual coalition of families victimized by police terrorism.”

In 1998 Project Censored co-sponsored a research study with the Stolen Lives Project a group born out of the October 22nd Coalition. Through funding from the San Francisco Foundation, Karen Saari, a legal researcher in Sonoma County California, spent a good part of a year searching the newspaper databases Lexis-Nexis and Proquest online at Sonoma State University for articles on Law Enforcement Related Deaths. She was searching for police shootings and any situation reported in the newspapers where someone died in the presence of law enforcement officers. Besides gun shots, deaths included suicides, car accidents, shootings, drowning, and Taser use.

To our knowledge, this was the first time such a study had been attempted in the U.S. During the twelve-month period October 1, 1997 to October 1, 1998, Saari found news stories on 694 deaths in the presence of law enforcement that occurred in the United States. Department of Justice figures at the time listed about 350 people killed by police in the previous year, so Saari’s research showed a significantly higher rate of death among civilians in law enforcement incidents than was previously known at the time.

In 2011, Jim Fisher used Internet searches to identify 1,146 police shootings that year.  Of this number news reports indicated that 607 people died. This was a slightly higher rate of shooting deaths than had been reported in 1997-98, but did not include taser, restraint deaths and suicides. Fisher found that vast majorities of the people shot were between the ages of 25-49, a result similar to Saari’s report a decade earlier. In 2011 two victims of the police were 15 years of age and one girl was only 16. Fifty of the dead were armed with BB-guns, pellet guns or toy replica firearms.

In addition to the people dying on the street or in their homes through law enforcement related activities, research shows that several hundred people a year die in local jails. In 2011, according to the Office of Justice Programs, 885 inmates died in the custody of local jails. Thirty-nine percent died within the first week of being jailed. This number combined with deaths on the outside shows that in excess of 1,500 people die annually in law enforcement related circumstances both in custody or in the process of enforcement in the community. It is reasonable to assume that some portion of these deaths is attributable to officer mistakes, over- reactions, or deliberate acts resulting in death.

But almost always, despite obvious questionable behavior by law enforcement personnel, no charges are filed.  Police investigations of law enforcement related death, either internally within departments or by outside police agencies, nearly always rule homicides are justifiable and followed departmental procedures.  It is extremely rare for police departments to rule a death as unjustified or to charge an officer with neglect, manslaughter, or murder.

Research has shown that it was a much graver error for a street cop to use too little force and begin developing a reputation among fellow officers as a shaky officer than to engage in excessive force and be told by colleagues to calm down. When officers do not use enough force they are subject to reprimand, gossip, and avoidance in the police subculture. The dangers associated with the occupation often prompt officers to distance themselves from the chief source of danger — citizens. The coercive authority that officers possess also separates them from the public. The cultural prescriptions of suspiciousness and maintaining the edge over citizens in creating, displaying, and maintaining their authority further divides police and people in the community. Officers who are socially isolated from citizens, and who rely on one another for mutual support from a dangerous and hostile work environment, are said to develop a “we versus they” attitude toward citizens and strong norms of loyalty to fellow officers.

We believe that certain behavior changes by police could well result in the lowering of law enforcement related deaths in the U.S. We decided to interview families of people who died in a law enforcement related incident. Our research team interviewed fourteen individuals who were immediate family members of people who died in Law Enforcement related incidents in northern California between 2000 and 2010. At least one year had passed from when their loved one died and the date of the interview.  Interviews were recorded and transcribed for analysis and comparison. All the names of the interviewees and the victims are to remain anonymous to protect the privacy of the families.

Following is a brief outline of the key facts as reported by family members for the fourteen cases and their opinions on the death. In all fourteen cases, the investigating police departments ruled the deaths justifiable homicide. In case # 9 a narcotics officer was indicted by the Grand Jury, but was found innocent in a court trial. All the family members interviewed strongly believe that police overreacted and their loved one should not have been killed under the circumstances.

Case #1. White male, Age 29, San Anselmo, prior history of mental illness, in-home traumatic episode, victim charges police with small steak knife, shot to death

Interviewee #1, “I think he (police officer) acted hastily…the cop that did it shouldn’t have a gun…he is the problem.”

Case #2. Black male, Age 19, High School Senior, Hayward, shot in back of head while running away from Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) police, no record of mental illness, no weapons present,

Interviewee #2, “The police and the media just said …the officer felt threatened by my son and had to shoot him. Very few newspapers changed their story or apologized when they found out my son was shot in the back of the head.”

Case #3. Black Male, Age 30, Rohnert Park, prior drug use, shot in back running from police after car chase, no record of mental illness, no weapons present,

Interviewee #3, “he was running from the police…they shot him in the back…murdered by the police.”

Case #4. Black Male, Age 27, Oakland,  prior drug use and sales, no history of mental illness, shot in back running from police, threw away handgun before being shot, financial settlement to family from civil trial.

Interviewee #4, “He had to run because he had a pistol on him. The police chased him. He ran around the corner and threw away the gun. The cop saw him throw away the gun and I guess decided it was ok to go ahead and shoot. He was shot two or three times in the back.”

Case #5.  Black male, Age 23, San Francisco, bipolar and depressed, confrontation in movie theater over smoking, shot 48 times by nine officers, no weapons, financial settlement to family from civil trial.

Interviewee #5, “They (police) evacuated all the theater… and they got in and shot him 48 times. They (Cops) posted stuff on my son’s website. I checked the IP address and it came form the police station, (they wrote) “who cares about your dead baboon on welfare?”

Case #6. Black male, Age 73, Ukiah, long history of mental illness, local psych unit asked police to pick him up so he could take his medications, runs to his apartment chased by police dog, dog attacks him and he responds with sharp object, shot several times in back and side by police.

Interviewee #6, “In my opinion he was murdered.”

Case #7. Black male, Age 30, Rohnert Park, self-employed rapper, prior arrests for marijuana and passing counterfeit money, no recorded mental illness, ran from police after traffic stop, shot in back, no weapons present.

Interviewee # 7, “He ran (from the car after a stop) and was shot immediately in the back. And then he was dead. He and the officer that shot him …had gone to school together and played basketball together.”

Case #8. White male, Age 39, Petaluma, prior depression and minor drug use, not taking his medications, traumatic episode called 911 himself, rampaging in his parents home, tasered by police three times and dies, no weapons present.

Interviewee #8. “The police…are supposed to protect you and take care of you, and we were following the rules.”

Case #9. Latino male, Age 40, San Jose, prior felon, no history of mental illness, mistaken identity car chase by under-cover narcotics officers, runs from car and shot in back by officer, bleeds to death after delayed medical care, no weapons present, financial settlement to family after civil suit.

Interviewee #9,  “My uncle happens to drive by a stakeout and he fits the description of a Mexican guy with a mustache…in a blue van. The undercover narcotic officers gave chase,… my uncle didn’t know who they were…he ends up on a one-way street and stops his car, and starts to run away. My uncle jumps a fence and the officer shoots him in the middle of the back. They let him lay there for eleven minutes bleeding…finally they let the ambulance in and he dies on the way to the hospital.”

Case #10. Black male, Age 16, 127 lbs, Sebastopol, no prior criminal record, depressed, traumatic episode in van parked in family driveway with small carving knife, pepper sprayed and shot six times by county sheriff, financial settlement to family from civil trial.

Interviewee #10, “The officer was highly reactive and he didn’t assess the situation, he immediately jumped into plan of action and that escalated the situation rather then contain it. Both officers said they feared for their life, yet these officers were both more than twice the weight of my 127 lb son.”

Case #11. Latino male, Age 34, San Jose, prior drug use, no history of mental illness, single officer confrontation 3:00 AM in front of his children’s and ex-partner’s home, tasered by officer, physical struggle, shot four times, no weapons present.

Interviewee # 11, “his autopsy report showed that he had been hit four times with bullets through his left side. He was unarmed. The police said they are trained to stop a threat. And I said well my god if this officer felt threatened what about a shot to the leg or something…and he responded no we are trained to show center space in the body. You know if you can’t shoot center space you won’t be a police officer.”

Case #12. White male, Age 24, Santa Rosa, mentally ill ward of the state, schizophrenic, in and out of care facilities since age 14, stopped taking medication and had psychotic incident in his home shard by three men, picked up small kitchen knife and is tasered and then shot by police four times, small financial settlement from civil suit.

Interviewee #12,  “There are probably a great many combat veterans in the police…you have been taught to kill, They could have stepped back The first thing they could have done is not make him come out of his room. Anyone who knows anything about mental patients who are off their meds—just get them somewhere quiet and alone.”

Case #13, White-Korean male, Age 30, Santa Rosa, Mental Illness Bipolar and PTSD, fired gun afraid of intruders in his attic, taken by police outside, runs at officers shot, no weapon in possession at time of shooting.

Interviewee # 13, “They kept shouting orders at him, I believe there were six officers, they approached in formation all of them with their guns aimed at him and to someone in this mental state it was extremely threatening way to approach him. (They had him on the ground) and kept shouting confusing orders to him, turn your head to the right, turn your head to the left, then he jumped up…and they shot him a rifle in the chest, right in the heart. None of this would have happen, all they had to do was say we are here to help, we understand you are hearing intruders, do you mind if we take a look?”

Case #14. Black male double amputee in wheelchair, Age 61 and his son, age 21, Oakland, Police arrive seeking proof of vaccination for dog that was reported to have bit someone in the home, , father killed with one shot to heart, son killed with 13 shots, officer dies (family says from friendly fire), police claim son had a shotgun, mother says no gun in the house, tape recording hidden by police for six years shows cooperative son, and no shotgun blast.

Interviewee #14, “I think the reason officers do what they do is because they can. It is just like any human reaction that if there are not consequences, then you have a green light….they don’t pay lawsuits, the taxpayers do, they seldom get fired for wrongdoing. So basically what they do is with impunity be they know the odds of any negative impact coming back to them …is negligible.”

Most all of the families complained that the police lied to them after the death of their family member and the media backed up the police. In most cases, immediate family members are isolated from each other, and taken to the police station. Families were kept from knowing that their loved one was dead. Questioning by police was designed to build a negative case against the deceased.

Certainly, the sudden death of a loved one is a very traumatic event for anyone. However, adding in isolation, interrogations, and lies will undoubtedly magnify the trauma. These families carry a deep-seated anger towards the police, not only for killing their loved ones but also for what they see as gross mistreatment by authorities after the event. Not only do they understand that after a law enforcement related death police immediately circle the wagons and go into protective mode, but they also see the media as likely to accept press releases from the police unquestioningly and conduct little in the way of investigative reporting.

In conclusion, we believe that, with some 1,500 people dying annually, a major continuing problem with law enforcement related death exists in the US. The national move to militarized police with homeland security oversight is certainly not reducing this death rate. Long-term racism continues to show abuses affecting people of color to greater degrees that whites. The culture of policing tends to reward aggressive behavior and diminish efforts to mitigate shooting deaths. And families of law enforcement related death victims are mistreated and abused by police departments and the corporate media.

We think that a comprehensive review of police training is needed to give greater emphasis to the use of non-lethal interventions, and non-aggressive behaviors especially in mental health cases. Mental health/social service support for families of victims of law enforcement related deaths, given the testimony above, is an important social justice need for people already suffering serious trauma.

Peter Phillips is a Professor of Sociology at Sonoma State University, and President of Media Freedom Foundation/Project Censored

Diana Grant is a Professor of Criminology & Criminal Justice Studies at Sonoma State University

Greg Sewell is a recent sociology graduate from Sonoma State University

Derivatives Are Manipulated

Runaway derivatives – especially credit default swaps (CDS) – were one of the main causes of the 2008 financial crisis. Congress never fixed the problem, and actually made it worse.

The big banks have long manipulated derivatives … a $1,200 Trillion Dollar market.

Indeed, many trillions of dollars of derivatives are being manipulated in the exact same same way that interest rates are fixed (see below) … through gamed self-reporting.

Reuters noted last week:

A Manhattan federal judge said on Thursday that investors may pursue a lawsuit accusing 12 major banks of violating antitrust law by fixing prices and restraining competition in the roughly $21 trillion market for credit default swaps.

***

“The complaint provides a chronology of behavior that would probably not result from chance, coincidence, independent responses to common stimuli, or mere interdependence,” [Judge] Cote said.

The defendants include Bank of America Corp, Barclays Plc, BNP Paribas SA, Citigroup Inc , Credit Suisse Group AG, Deutsche Bank AG , Goldman Sachs Group Inc, HSBC Holdings Plc , JPMorgan Chase & Co, Morgan Stanley, Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and UBS AG.

Other defendants are the International Swaps and Derivatives Association and Markit Ltd, which provides credit derivative pricing services.

***

U.S. and European regulators have probed potential anticompetitive activity in CDS. In July 2013, the European Commission accused many of the defendants of colluding to block new CDS exchanges from entering the market.

***

“The financial crisis hardly explains the alleged secret meetings and coordinated actions,” the judge wrote. “Nor does it explain why ISDA and Markit simultaneously reversed course.”

In other words, the big banks are continuing to fix prices for CDS in secret meetings … and have torpedoed the more open and transparent CDS exchanges that Congress mandated.

As shown below, Wall Street has manipulated virtually every other market as well – both in the financial sector and the real economy – and broken virtually every law on the books.

Interest Rates Are Manipulated

Bloomberg reported in January:

Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc was ordered to pay $50 million by a federal judge in Connecticut over claims that it rigged the London interbank offered rate.

RBS Securities Japan Ltd. in April pleaded guilty to wire frauda s part of a settlement of more than $600 million with U.S and U.K. regulators over Libor manipulation, according to court filings. U.S. District Judge Michael P. Shea in New Haventoday sentenced the Tokyo-based unit of RBS, Britain’s biggest publicly owned lender, to pay the agreed-upon fine, according to a Justice Department Justice Department.

Global investigations into banks’ attempts to manipulate the benchmarks for profit have led to fines and settlements for lenders including RBS, Barclays Plc, UBS AG and Rabobank Groep.

RBS was among six companies fined a record 1.7 billion euros ($2.3 billion) by the European Union last month for rigging interest rates linked to Libor. The combined fines for manipulating yen Libor and Euribor, the benchmark money-market rate for the euro, are the largest-ever EU cartel penalties.

Global fines for rate-rigging have reached $6 billion since June 2012 as authorities around the world probe whether traders worked together to fix Libor, meant to reflect the interest rate at which banks lend to each other, to benefit their own trading positions.

To put the Libor interest rate scandal in perspective:

  • Even though RBS and a handful of other banks have been fined for interest rate manipulation, Libor is still being manipulated. No wonder … the fines are pocket change – the cost of doing business – for the big banks

Currency Markets Are Rigged

Currency markets are massively rigged. And see this and this.

Energy Prices Manipulated

The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission says that JP Morgan has massively manipulated energy markets in California and the Midwest, obtaining tens of millions of dollars in overpayments from grid operators between September 2010 and June 2011.

Pulitzer prize-winning reporter David Cay Johnston noted in May that Wall Street is trying to launch Enron 2.0.

Oil Prices Are Manipulated

Oil prices are manipulated as well.

Gold and Silver Are Manipulated

Gold and silver prices are “fixed” in the same way as interest rates and derivatives – in daily conference calls by the powers-that-be.

Bloomberg reports:

It is the participating banks themselves that administer the gold and silver benchmarks.

So are prices being manipulated? Let’s take a look at the evidence. In his book “The Gold Cartel,” commodity analyst Dimitri Speck combines minute-by-minute data from most of 1993 through 2012 to show how gold prices move on an average day (see attached charts). He finds that the spot price of gold tends to drop sharply around the London evening fixing (10 a.m. New York time). A similar, if less pronounced, drop in price occurs around the London morning fixing. The same daily declines can be seen in silver prices from 1998 through 2012.

For both commodities there were, on average, no comparable price changes at any other time of the day. These patterns are consistent with manipulation in both markets.

Commodities Are Manipulated

The big banks and government agencies have been conspiring to manipulate commodities prices for decades.

The big banks are taking over important aspects of the physical economy, including uranium mining, petroleum products, aluminum, ownership and operation of airports, toll roads, ports, and electricity.

And they are using these physical assets to massively manipulate commodities prices … scalping consumers of many billions of dollars each year. More from Matt Taibbi, FDL and Elizabeth Warren.

Everything Can Be Manipulated through High-Frequency Trading

Traders with high-tech computers can manipulate stocks, bonds, options, currencies and commodities. And see this.

Manipulating Numerous Markets In Myriad Ways

The big banks and other giants manipulate numerous markets in myriad ways, for example:

  • Engaging in mafia-style big-rigging fraud against local governments. See this, this and this
  • Shaving money off of virtually every pension transaction they handled over the course of decades, stealing collectively billions of dollars from pensions worldwide. Details here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here
  • Pledging the same mortgage multiple times to different buyers. See this, this, this, this and this. This would be like selling your car, and collecting money from 10 different buyers for the same car
  • Pushing investments which they knew were terrible, and then betting against the same investments to make money for themselves. See this, this, this, this and this
  • Engaging in unlawful “Wash Trades” to manipulate asset prices. See this, this and this
  • Bribing and bullying ratings agencies to inflate ratings on their risky investments

The Big Picture

The experts say that big banks will keep manipulating markets unless and until their executives are thrown in jail for fraud.

Why? Because the system is rigged to allow the big banks to commit continuous and massive fraud, and then to pay small fines as the “cost of doing business”. As Nobel prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz noted years ago:

“The system is set so that even if you’re caught, the penalty is just a small number relative to what you walk home with.

The fine is just a cost of doing business. It’s like a parking fine. Sometimes you make a decision to park knowing that you might get a fine because going around the corner to the parking lot takes you too much time.”

Experts also say that we have to prosecute fraud or else the economy won’t ever really stabilize.

But the government is doing the exact opposite. Indeed, the Justice Department has announced it will go easy on big banks, and always settles prosecutions for pennies on the dollar (a form of stealth bailout. It is also arguably one of the main causes of the double dip in housing.)

Indeed, the government doesn’t even force the banks to admit any guilt as part of their settlements.

Again Wall Street has manipulated virtually every other market as well – both in the financial sector and the real economy – and broken virtually every law on the books.

And they will keep on doing so until the Department of Justice grows a pair.

The criminality and blatant manipulation will grow and spread and metastasize – taking over and killing off more and more of the economy – until Wall Street executives are finally thrown in jail.

It’s that simple …

Guatemalan protestor was beaten and burnt to death after he dared to speak against the Marlin gold mine, which is owned by Canadian company GoldCorp. The man, who was a member of an indigenous tribe, was reportedly killed by workers from the company who doused him with petrol before throwing a lit match onto his body.

This is not the first controversy that has hit the Marlin mine. When it was first constructed, there were multiple protests from local farmers.

In December 2004, an indigenous group from Sipakapa began a 42-day blockade of Glamis trucks passing through their community on the way to the mine, but the blockade was ended when more than 1,200 soldiers and 400 police agents began firing at unarmed protesters, resulting in the death of an indigenous farmer, Raul Casto Bocel.

This latest death is part of a decade-long struggle for local communities to protect themselves from the mine and its impact on the region. The stories are shocking with tales of intimidation, threats, social division, violence, bribery and corruption of local authorities, destruction and contamination of water sources, not to mention forest clearing and appalling health impacts such as malnutrition and skin diseases.

The company running Marlin is Montana Exploradora, a subsidiary of Goldcorp, based in Vancouver, Canada. The Guardian asked them to comment on allegations that company workers had been responsible for setting fire to the protestor and received this response from the Communications Director, Christine Marks:

The allegation is patently false. Goldcorp and its subsidiary Montana Exploradora do not condone violence of any kind, against anyone. We respect the right of all individuals to voice their opinions respectfully. Goldcorp and Montana Exploradora have adopted the internationally-recognized standards of “Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights.” These standards provide the guidelines for security policies which include and demonstrate respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. All of our security personnel are trained in the ‘Voluntary Principles’, as are the local members of the Guatemalan police and army.

When asked about other controversies, The Guardian was directed to a website where  “you’ll find common myths that have been exposed repeatedly as falsehoods.” I think the Guatemalan locals would disagree.

See article  The Guardian

Hillary Clinton’s favorability ratings continue to tumble as she renters the political fray, with 43% of respondents now saying they view her positively, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, down from a high of 60% in 2009.

But Clinton remains one of only two politicians polled whose favorability rating tops their unfavorable numbers (the other being her husband, former president Bill Clinton).  Forty-one percent of respondents hold a negative view of the former first lady and potential 2016 presidential candidate, slightly fewer than those who hold positive views.

Clinton’s numbers were likely destined to fall back to earth as she reentered domestic partisan politics. In recent months, she’s increasingly weighed in on hot-button issues like gun control, which is likely to blunt her support among non-Democrats who may have liked her as secretary of state or as a private citizen, but would never support her as a presidential candidate.

George W. Bush’s ratings, for instance, have climbed since he left office.

Her husband remains the most popular political figure surveyed, with 56% of respondents holding positive views of the former president and just 21% expressing a negative opinion.

Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, who is also eyeing a presidential bid, breaks even with the same number holding favorable and unfavorable views. Among other potential GOP presidential contenders, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has a net negative four point rating, Mitt Romney is down seven points, and Jeb Bush is down 11 points.

There is somewhat more intensity against Clinton than for her, with 26% saying they hold “very negative” views of Clinton and 21% holding “very positive” views of the former first lady.

ISIS and Israel Allies Against a Palestinian State

September 11th, 2014 by Jonathan Cook

An image speaks a thousand words – and that is presumably what Israel’s supporters hoped for with their latest ad in the New York Times.

Two photographs are presented side by side. One, titled ISIS, is the now-iconic image of a kneeling James Foley, guarded by a black-hooded executioner, awaiting his terrible fate. The other, titled Hamas, is a scene from Gaza, where a similarly masked killer stands over two victims, who cower in fear. A headline stating “This is the face of radical Islam” tries, like the images, to equate the two organisations.

We have heard this line repeatedly from Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who tweeted “Hamas is ISIS” after the video of Foley’s beheading aired. Last week, in a speech addressed to the family of Steven Sotloff, ISIS’s latest victim, he called Hamas and ISIS “tentacles of a violent Islamist terrorism.” Netanyahu’s depiction of Hamas and ISIS, or Islamic State, as “branches of the same poisonous tree” is a travesty of the truth.

The two have entirely different – in fact, opposed – political projects. ISIS wants to return to a supposed era of pure Islamic rule, the caliphate, when all Muslims were subject to God’s laws (sharia). Given that Muslims are now to be found in every corner of the globe, the implication is that ISIS ultimately seeks world domination.

Hamas’s goals are decidedly more modest. It was born and continues as a national liberation movement, seeking to create a Palestinian state. Its members may disagree on that state’s territorial limits but even the most ambitious expect no more than the historic borders of a Palestine that existed a few decades ago.

ISIS aims to sweep away Palestine and every other Arab state in the region. That is the key to interpreting the very different, if equally brutal, events depicted in the two images.

ISIS killed Foley, dressed in Guantanamo-style orange jumpsuit, purely as spectacle – a graphic message to the world of its menacing agenda. Hamas’ cruelty was directed at those in Gaza who collaborate with Israel, undermining any hope of Palestinian liberation from Israel’s occupation. The extra-judicial execution of collaborators may be ugly but it has a long tradition among resistance movements fighting asymmetrical wars. Militants among the Marxist revolutionaries of Latin America and the Catholic nationalists in Ireland, as well as the Allied resistance in Nazi Europe and the Jewish underground against the British in Palestine, had nary a Muslim in their ranks but they brutally punished those who betrayed them. ISIS’s reported 20,000 foot soldiers have quickly taken over swaths of Iraq and Syria in a murderous and uncompromising campaign against anyone who rejects not only Islam but their specific interpretation of it.

Hamas – split between political and militant factions – has shown itself both pragmatic and accountable to the Palestinian public. It won the last national election, in 2006, and after its recent fight against Israel in Gaza is by far the most popular Palestinian movement. Despite being in control of Gaza for eight years, it has not implemented sharia law nor targeted the enclave’s Christians. Instead it has recently formed a unity government with its secular political rivals in Fatah, and has been more than willing to negotiate with Israel. According to reports, Hamas leader Khaled Meshal has joined Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of the Palestinian Authority, in demanding the most diminutive Palestinian state possible, inside the 1967 borders.

Netanyahu’s fundamentalist right wing are the ones refusing to negotiate, with either Hamas or Abbas. In casting a popular resistance movement like Hamas as ISIS, Netanyahu has tarred all Palestinians as bloodthirsty Islamic extremists. And here we reach Israel’s real goal in equating the two groups. Netanyahu’s comparison has a recent parallel. Immediately after the 9/11 attacks on the US, Ariel Sharon made a similar equivalence between al-Qaeda and the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. Israel’s intelligence officials even called the destruction of the Twin Towers a “Hanukkah miracle”, a view echoed by Netanyahu years later when he described the attack as beneficial, adding that it had “swung American public opinion in our favour”. All of them understood that 9/11 had reframed the debate about the Oslo-inspired debate about the Palestinians needing statehood to one about an evil axis of Middle East terror.

Sharon revelled in calling Arafat the head of an “infrastructure of terror”, justifying Israel’s crushing the uprising of the second intifada. Similarly, Netanyahu’s efforts are designed to discredit all – not just the Islamic variety of – Palestinian resistance to Israel’s occupation. He hopes to be the silent partner to Barack Obama’s new coalition against ISIS.

Aaron David Miller, an adviser to several US administrations on Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, warned in Foreign Policy last week that the rise of ISIS would pose a serious setback to Palestinian hopes of statehood – a point underscored by the far greater concerns about ISIS than the Palestinians’ plight expressed by Arab League delegates at this week’s meeting in Cairo. How Netanyahu hopes to follow Sharon in exploiting this opportunity was on show last week, when Israeli intelligence revealed a supposed Hamas plot to launch a coup against the PA.

The interrogation of Hamas officials, however, showed only that they had prepared for the possibility of the PA’s rule ending in the West Bank, either through its collapse under Israeli pressure or through a disillusioned Abbas handing over the keys to Israel. But talk of Hamas coups has melded with other, even wilder stories, such as the claims last week from foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman that ISIS cells had formed in the West Bank and inside Israel. Defence minister Moshe Yaalon underscored this narrative by hurriedly classifying ISIS as a “proscribed” organisation.

All this fear-mongering is designed both to further undermine the Palestinian unity government between Hamas and Fatah, and to sanction Israel’s behaviour by painting a picture, as after 9/11, of an Israel on the front line of a war against global terror. “Israel’s demands for a continued Israeli presence [in the West Bank] and a lengthy withdrawal period will only harden further,” wrote Miller.

In reality, Israel should share common cause with Palestinian leaders, from Fatah and Hamas, against ISIS. But, as ever, Netanyahu will forgo his country’s long-term interests for a short-term gain in his relentless war to keep the Palestinians stateless.

Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His latest books are “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books).  His website is www.jonathan-cook.netA version of this article first appeared in the National, Abu Dhabi.

The preliminary report by the Dutch Safety Board (DSB) on the Malaysian MH17 crash suggests that the plane was not brought down by a missile, Michel Chossudovsky, director of the Center for Research on Globalization told RIA Novosti on Tuesday.

“The conclusion of the report by the Dutch Safety Board confirms earlier independent reports to the effect that the Malaysian airlines flight was not brought down by a missile,” Chossudovsky said, quoting the DSB statement: “the aircraft was penetrated by a large number of high-energy objects from outside. It’s likely that this damage resulted in a loss of structural integrity of the aircraft, leading to an in-flight break up”.

“This paragraph dispels the notion that it was a missile attack, and that’s what is important,” Chossudovsky asserted.

Chossudovsky also thinks that the report confirms the earlier statement of the Head of mission of the OSCE who pointed to “machine gun-like holes.”

The expert noted that the report does not specify the nature of those objects or projectiles.

“That has to do with the fact that there was an agreement between the various parties of non-disclosure of certain details,” he explained. “But by stating “a large number of high-energy objects,” the Dutch report implies that these numerous perforations were not attributable to a missile attack.

Chossudovsky believes that the MH17 crash which was blamed on Russia was a pretext used to justify extended sanctions against the Russian Federation, and the US accusations against Russia were fabricated. However, this report refutes Washington’s accusations.

“There is a lot of politics behind this report, but it still refutes the version claiming that the plane was brought down by a surface to air missile launched by the Donbas militia with Russia’s support. Reference to a “large number of energy objects” is a very important concept, it points to shelling from a military aircraft” he concluded.

The Dutch Safety Board released the preliminary report on MH17 crash earlier today. According to the report, the flight operated by Malaysia Airlines broke up in the air probably as the result of structural damage caused by a large number of high-energy objects that penetrated the aircraft from outside.

Flight MH17, flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, crashed on July 17 in the Donetsk region, killing all 298 people on board.

The investigation was conducted according to the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a specialized agency of the United Nations. The only objective of this investigation is the prevention of similar accidents and incidents, the report says.

The Board also said that the preliminary reports were sent to the other countries involved in the investigation, including Malaysia, Ukraine, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia and their reactions to the report have been received.

The Dutch Safety Board does not have the right to apportion blame or responsibility on any party.

In the fall of 2001 members of the U.S. executive branch terrorized Congress into passing the Patriot Act that assaulted the rights of citizens.

Tom Daschle was at the U.S. Capitol when news of the 9/11 attacks broke. He began watching events unfold on television like other Americans. But shortly after 10:30 a.m. a Capitol police officer ran into the room. “Senator, he said, “we’re under attack. We have word that an airplane is heading this way and could hit the building anytime. You need to evacuate.”[1]

The plane in question was probably the one that was eventually destroyed in Pennsylvania (allegedly United Airlines Flight 93). On September 11 and for some time after there was a widespread belief that this plane had originally been headed for the Capitol, the intention being to decapitate the republic by killing many of its elected members.

Daschle says “the scene was total chaos.” The halls “were filled with fear and confusion.” This was “the first time in history that the entire United States Capitol had been evacuated.”[2] With no procedure in place for this kind of attack, senators and representatives scattered. Daschle, as Majority Leader, was put by his security detail into a helicopter and flown to a secure location. Later, in the evening, members of Congress drifted back to the Capitol, listened to speeches, and broke into a spontaneous rendition of God Bless America.[3]

The unity that threat and war induce was already taking hold. Daschle says “we turned to one another like long-lost members of a large family and embraced.”[4] Of the day as a whole, he remarks: “I can’t think of a time in my life when I have witnessed such deeply felt unity and connection among our countrymen.”[5]

Polls soon confirmed Daschle’s observations. A sense of national unity and pride increased, support for the executive dramatically climbed, and citizens confirmed a willingness to surrender civil liberties as part of the sacrifice that seemed demanded of them.[6]

From that violent day in September until the end of the autumn of 2001 there was not a day when Congress was safe. After 9/11 the Capitol was closed to the public and “surrounded by yellow police tape and concrete barriers.”[7] The risk of violent incidents directed at Congress became a major media theme. And the danger from planes crashing into buildings rapidly became augmented in a most peculiar way by a new threat, the threat of a bioterror attack, especially anthrax.

On Monday, September 17, 2001 an unusual pattern began to emerge.

Attorney General John Ashcroft announced on this day that he would soon be sending an anti-terrorism proposal to the U.S. Congress and that he would ask Congress to enact the legislation by Friday, September 21.[8] Given the length, complexity and importance of the bill (the Patriot Act) this was an astonishing announcement. He was asking Congress to act with blazing speed and to make an Olympian leap of faith.

On the same day, September 17, an article by Rick Weiss appeared in the Washington Post entitled, “Bioterrorism: An Even More Devastating Threat.” Weiss explained that:

“Biological attacks can be far more difficult to respond to than conventional terrorist attacks. For one thing, they are covert rather than overt; for days, no one would know that one had occurred. That’s a huge problem for a disease like anthrax.”

If it was peculiar that the announcement of the proposed legislation should correspond with the announcement of a threat of anthrax, it was even more peculiar that the threat was simultaneously being made real. On September 17, or possibly on the following day, letters containing spores of Bacillus anthracis were put in the U.S. mail.[9] As Weiss had suggested, although several people at the targeted sites (news agencies) developed anthrax, for some time after the disease was induced it remained undiagnosed.

The pattern was now established. For over a month following Ashcroft’s announcement, as the Patriot Act made its way through Congress before being signed into law by G. W. Bush on October 26, the bill would be accompanied by anthrax—both the threat and the reality. Perhaps there has never been a piece of legislation in American history that was so clearly forced on Congress by a credible threat of death.

Congress, it seemed, required this death threat. Although it had been traumatized by the 9/11 attacks, it had not been prepared to pass the Patriot Act as quickly as Ashcroft wanted–in the same week it was proposed–and in fact by September 24 the legislation had run into trouble, coming in for criticism in committees of both Senate and House. Ashcroft kept pushing. “Terrorism is a clear and present danger to Americans today,” he said, adding that “each day that so passes is a day that terrorists have an advantage.”[10] On September 25 questions and criticisms continued to arise, so Bush and Cheney entered the fray. Bush said: “we’re at war…and in order to win the war, we must make sure the law enforcement men and women have got the tools necessary.” Cheney, at a lunch with Republican senators, asked them to do their best to get the legislation through Congress by October 5.[11]

On September 30 a major administration offensive began, with the aim of putting pressure on Congress to meet Cheney’s new deadline of October 5. Among the members of the executive branch stepping forward were, in addition to Ashcroft, White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson. Card said on television that “terrorist organizations, like al Qaeda…have probably found the means to use biological or chemical warfare.” Tommy Thompson, trying to strike a more reassuring note, assured his television viewers that “we’re prepared to take care of any contingency, any consequence that develops for any kind of biological attack.”[12]

There was nothing subtle about the connection of all these speeches and warnings to the bill the administration wanted passed. The first line in the Washington Post’s October 1 article on the topic was: “Bush administration officials said yesterday there will likely be more terrorist strikes in the United States, possibly including chemical and biological warfare, and they urged Congress to expand police powers by Friday [Oct. 5] to counter the threat.”[13]

On the same day as this administration offensive, September 30, photo editor Robert Stevens, on vacation, came down with “flu-like symptoms” and crawled into the backseat of his car to rest, letting his wife take the wheel.[14] He had inhalation anthrax. His illness would be diagnosed on October 3 and he would die on October 5. October 3 would mark the first diagnosis of anthrax and the first day on which anyone except the perpetrators should have known anthrax was in play. All anthrax warnings in the period prior to October 3 must be regarded as suspicious in the extreme.

But anthrax references prior to Stevens’ diagnosis were actually very common.[15] An op-ed by Maureen Dowd appeared in The New York Times on September 26 with the title, “From Botox to Botulism.” The article’s theme was that naïve “boomers” were living in the delusion that “they could make life safe.” This generation “that came of age with psychedelic frolicking” was ill prepared, Dowd said, for Muslim martyrs dispersing biological toxins. Upper middle class New York women were carrying Cipro, Dowd claimed, in their “little black Prada techno-nylon bags” due to widespread fears of an anthrax attack.

Cipro (ciprofloxacin) was the antibiotic recommended at the time against anthrax. It is not surprising that Cipro received a great deal of media attention in October after it was clear that people were coming down with anthrax, but is it not strange that Cipro received so much attention in the period just prior to the emergence of public knowledge of the attacks? On September 27 The New York Times followed Dowd’s article with, “Anthrax Scare Prompts Run on an Antibiotic.” “’We can’t keep it in stock,’ says Sebastian Manciameli, a pharmacist at Zitomer Pharmacy on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.”

Examples of suspicious foreknowledge are easy to find. Richard Cohen, a columnist for the Washington Post, admitted in later years that he “had been told soon after Sept. 11 to secure Cipro, the antidote to anthrax.” “The tip had come in a roundabout way from a high government official, and I immediately acted on it. I was carrying Cipro way before most people had heard of it.”[16]

When did Cohen receive his extraordinary tip? We know that by September 26 (article published in The New York Times September 27) there was a run on Cipro and druggists could not keep it in stock. Obviously at this time a great many people had heard of it. So Cohen’s tip must have been received “way before” September 26 and “soon after” September 11. Whatever the exact date may have been, it was well before any government official is supposed to have known anthrax spores were in circulation.

It was eventually revealed that both George W. Bush and Dick Cheney were put on Cipro on September 11.[17] Attempts to explain this as standard protocol following a terrorist event must contend with the flood of anthrax warnings, including Cohen’s, that soon followed and that cannot be dismissed as protocol but indicate foreknowledge.

Meanwhile, the threats to Congress continued. On October 9 it was noted that terrorist retaliation was expected now that Afghanistan was being bombed. Congress was said to be a prime target. Members of Congress were advised to hide their identities. “On Capitol Hill members of Congress were discouraged from wearing their congressional pins when they are away from the Capitol.” Moreover, they were “advised for security reasons to avoid using license plates or anything else that would identify them as members of Congress.”[18]

On October 10 it was learned that “concern over an attack on the U.S. Capitol” was resulting in proposals for road closings and barriers. “Washington is considered one of the leading targets for terrorists.”[19]

On October 11 the FBI issued its most specific warning since 9/11, saying that “additional terrorist acts could be directed at U.S. interests at home and abroad over the ‘next several days.’” The warning included all types of terrorist attacks and specifically referred to the Capitol as a possible target. Mention was made of crop-duster planes, which were being reported widely in the news as especially effective methods of delivering large quantities of biological or chemical agents.[20] (Crop-dusters pointed to Iraq. For several years U.S. intelligence had falsely maintained that Iraq had terror crop-dusters ready to deliver anthrax.)[21]

The FBI’s October 11 warning was well timed and effective for passage of the Patriot Act. The Senate had been giving the executive trouble, and it buckled subsequent to this warning. The bill was passed by the Senate late in the evening of October 11.

But real anthrax, not just threatened anthrax, was again in play by this time, and U.S. Senators were the new targets.

There is no mystery as to why the Senate rather than the House was the target. The Republicans had a comfortable majority in the House and could easily carry the vote regardless of opposition, but in the Senate the Democrats had a majority of one. To become law the Patriot Act had to pass in both houses, and the Democrats were in a position to block it in the Senate. Many of the same proposals that constituted the Patriot Act had been tried out on Congress after the Oklahoma bombing of 1996 and they had, in fact, been blocked.[22] The same danger existed this time, and the more time the Senate had to recover from the trauma of 9/11 the more likely it was that the measures would once again be stopped.

There were two Democratic Senators who were in an especially strong position to halt the legislation. Tom Daschle was Senate Majority Leader. He had a great deal of power in establishing a timeline, negotiating with the opposition party and with the executive, and generally determining whether and in what form the bill would make it through. Patrick Leahy was Chair of the Senate Judicial Committee, the committee that was central to the review of all bills affecting the civil rights of Americans. Leahy was in daily contact with Ashcroft’s office, trying to find formulations of the bill’s measures that he could live with.

Daschle has noted in his account of those days the pressure he and his fellow Democrats were under. Ashcroft, he says, “attacked Democrats for delaying passage of this bill.” “[I]n this climate of anxiety, the attorney general was implicitly suggesting that further attacks might not be prevented if Democrats didn’t stop delaying.”[23]

Although today it may be difficult today to see Dashle and Leahy as champions of civil rights—they both accepted the need for the Patriot Act and worked very hard to get it passed—there were certain times when they drew the line. October 2 was one such occasion. It appears that their opposition on that day nearly got them killed.

The Washington Post gave the gist of that day’s conflict in the title of an important October 3 article: “Anti-terrorism Bill Hits Snag on the Hill; Dispute Between Senate Democrats, White House.”[24] The article’s author noted that “Leahy accused the White House of reneging on an agreement.” The issue was “a provision setting out rules under which law enforcement agencies could share wiretap and grand jury information with intelligence agencies.” Leahy had been under the impression that his negotiations with the White House had produced an acceptable compromise; suddenly he discovered the compromise had been rejected. As Leahy balked, “Attorney General John D. Ashcroft accused the Democratic-controlled Senate of delaying legislation that he says is urgently needed to thwart another terrorist attack.” The Senate, Ashcroft said, “was not moving with sufficient speed.” “Talk,” he complained, “won’t prevent terrorism,” adding that he was “deeply concerned about the rather slow pace” at which the legislation was moving. The Washington Post reported that Tom Daschle supported Leahy and said that Daschle “doubted the Senate could take up the legislation before next week.” In other words, both Leahy and Daschle intended to violate Cheney’s October 5 deadline. Leahy and Daschle were the only senators mentioned by name in the Post discussion.

Although this act of resistance may seem trivial to us today, it was clearly not trivial at the time. Shortly after the October 5 date passed without enactment of the bill, letters containing anthrax spores were sent to Senators Leahy and Daschle. These letters were put in the mail sometime between October 6 and 9.[25]

With these letters in the mail, the drama of the Patriot Act was evidently not over.

After the Senate’s passing of the bill on October 11 the Patriot Act was still not secure. The Senate and House had passed somewhat different versions of the bill and it was necessary to work out a way of harmonizing the different versions and then getting new votes on the harmonized bill in both houses.

On October 15, Roll Call, a Washington newspaper dedicated to reporting news related to Capitol Hill, had as its front page headline: “HILL BRACES FOR ANTHRAX THREAT.”[26] Sure enough, later that day Leslie Grant, an intern working for Daschle, opened a letter to the senator to find two grams of B. anthracis spores along with the following text:[27]

“09-11-01

YOU CAN NOT STOP US.

WE HAVE THIS ANTHRAX.

YOU DIE NOW.

ARE YOU AFRAID?

DEATH TO AMERICA.

DEATH TO ISRAEL.

ALLAH IS GREAT.”[28]

Allah’s advocates, it seemed, had taken a sudden dislike to Democratic senators who violated the Vice-President’s deadlines.

The preparation of anthrax spores in the Daschle letter was, unlike the text of the letter, extremely sophisticated. Due to the aerosolized (“floaty”) nature of the prepared spores, a characteristic not easily achieved since in nature the spores tend to clump, many people in the Hart Senate building tested positive for exposure. There was general shock as it was discovered that the spore preparation, behaving essentially like smoke, had quickly drifted off and contaminated much of the building.

The Hart Senate building had to be closed and the senators with offices there relocated. Much of the work by members of Congress to harmonize the two versions of the Patriot Act was carried out in unsettled conditions—in some cases in temporary quarters with limited computer access by senators writing on pads of paper.[29]

Journalist Colbert King summed up the disturbance to Capitol Hill.[30] Noting that an aim of terrorism is “to instill feelings of fear and helplessness in citizens,” he said:

“…the perpetrators of the anthrax terror hit pay dirt in Washington. They’ve managed to accomplish what the British tried to generate with their burning of the White House, the Capitol and other government buildings in 1814—what Lee Harvey Oswald couldn’t deliver in 1963–and what the Pentagon attackers sought to but couldn’t provoke on Sept. 11: a sense of vulnerability and danger so great that it disables and fundamentally alters the way the nation’s capital does its business.”

“Anthrax,” he added, “caused the House of Representatives to flee town; it closed Senate office buildings; unprecedented actions.”

Finally, on October 26, after all the theatre and the threats, George W. Bush signed the bill into law. As he did so, he did not hesitate to add the anthrax attacks to the crimes of 9/11 and to imply that they had been carried out by the same perpetrators:[31]

“The changes, effective today, will help counter a threat like no other nation has ever faced. We’ve seen the enemy, and the murder of thousands of innocent, unsuspecting people.

They recognize no barrier of morality. They have no conscience. The terrorists cannot be reasoned with. Witness the recent anthrax attacks through our Postal Service.”

Immediately after the passing of the Patriot Act the anthrax story, less resilient than the 9/11 fiction, went into free fall collapse. It became clear that, despite the repeated attempts in October to blame the attacks on al-Qaeda and Iraq, the spores had been prepared in a U.S. laboratory serving the military and intelligence communities. This was admitted by the FBI and Homeland Security by the end of 2001 and has not been seriously challenged in the years since then.[32]

As to who, precisely, the anthrax perpetrators were, the debate continues. The FBI has spent years trying to convince the world that a scientist (Dr. Bruce Ivins) from the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases was the “lone wolf” perpetrator. But that claim, never tested in court because of Ivins’ sudden death just before he was to be charged, has crumbled to dust in the last few years. It simply cannot be made to fit with the evidence.[33]

We would do well to ask who wanted Afghanistan and Iraq in the crosshairs and worked very hard throughout October of 2001 to falsely blame al-Qaeda and Iraq for the anthrax attacks. And we might also ask who wanted the American people controlled and spied upon and worked so hard to get the Patriot Act passed as one lethal threat after another arrived.

In my view, the answers to these questions are quite clear. Although the perpetrators had a wide circle of friends and collaborators, this circle included the highest members of the executive branch of government. In the anthrax attacks, and in the 9/11 attacks to which they were linked,[34] the executive branch threatened to kill the legislative branch. It is hard to imagine a greater insult, and a greater danger, to the U.S. Constitution and to the future of democracy generally.

Graeme MacQueen, now retired, is a former Director of the Centre for Peace Studies at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. This essay is adapted from his new book published by Clarity Press, The 2001 Anthrax Deception: The Case for a Domestic Conspiracy.

Notes 

1. Tom Daschle and Michael D’Orso, Like No Other Time: The 107th Congress and the Two Years That Changed America Forever (New York: Crown Publishers, 2003), 107 ff.
2. Ibid., 110.
3. Ibid., 110 ff.
4. Ibid., 118.
5. Ibid., 117.
6. Richard Morin, “Almost 90% Want U.S. To Retaliate, Poll Finds,” The Washington Post, September 12, 2001.
7. Daschle and D’Orso, Like No Other Time: The 107th Congress and the Two Years That Changed America Forever, 125.
8. John Ashcroft and Mueller, “Attorney General John Ashcroft Remarks: Press Briefing with FBI Director Robert Mueller” (FBI Headquarters, September 17, 2001), https://w2.eff.org/Privacy/Surveillance/Terrorism/20010917_ashcroft_mueller_statement.html.
9. “History Commons: 2001 Anthrax Attacks,” History Commons, n.d., http://www.historycommons.org/project.jsp?project=2001anthraxattacks. September 17-18, 2001: First Wave of Anthrax Attacks Targets ABC, NBC, CBS, New York Post, and National Enquirer.
10. John Lancaster and Walter Pincus, “Proposed Anti-Terrorism Laws Draw Tough Questions; Lawmakers Express Concerns to Ashcroft, Other Justice Officials About Threat to Civil Liberties,” The Washington Post, September 25, 2001.
11. John Lancaster, “Senators Question an Anti-Terrorism Proposal,” The Washington Post, September 26, 2001.
12. Dana Milbank, “More Terrorism Likely, U.S. Warns; Bush Wants National Airport Reopened,” The Washington Post, October 1, 2001.
13. Ibid.
14. Jeanne Guillemin, American Anthrax: Fear, Crime, and the Investigation of the Nation’s Deadliest Bioterror Attack (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2011), 18.
15. Graeme MacQueen, The 2001 Anthrax Deception: The Case For a Domestic Conspiracy (Atlanta, GA: Clarity Press, 2014), chap. 6.
16. Richard Cohen, “How Did I Get Iraq Wrong?,” Slate, March 18, 2008.
17. Sandra Sobierai, “White House Mail Machine Has Anthrax,” Washington Post, October 23, 2001; “Feds Sued Over Anthrax Documents: Legal Group Wonders Why White House Took Cipro before Attacks,” WorldNetDaily, June 7, 2002,http://www.wnd.com/2002/06/14170/.
18. Eric Pianin, “Ridge Assumes Security Post Amid Potential For New Attacks; FBI Warns Public, Private Entities To Observe ‘Highest State of Alert,’” The Washington Post, October 9, 2001.
19. Spencer S. Hsu and Carol D. Leonnig, “Lawmakers Seek Ways To Secure U.S. Capitol; Temporary Street Closings; Pop-Up Barriers Considered,” The Washington Post, October 10, 2001.
20. Dan Eggen and Bob Woodward, “Terrorist Attacks Imminent, FBI Warns; Bush Declared Al Qaeda Is ‘On the Run’; Assaults on U.S. Called Possible in ‘Next Several Days,’” The Washington Post, October 12, 2001.
21. MacQueen, The 2001 Anthrax Deception: The Case For a Domestic Conspiracy, chap. 7.
22. “History Commons: US Civil Liberties: Patriot Act: April 25, 1996: New Anti-Terrorism Law Passed,” n.d.,http://www.historycommons.org/timeline.jsp?timeline=civilliberties&civilliberties_patriot_act=civilliberties_patriot_act.
23. Daschle and D’Orso, Like No Other Time: The 107th Congress and the Two Years That Changed America Forever, 135.
24. John Lancaster, “Anti-Terrorism Bill Hits Snag on the Hill; Dispute Between Senate Democrats, White House Threatens Committee Approval,” The Washington Post, October 3, 2001.
25. “History Commons: 2001 Anthrax Attacks,” October 6-9, 2001: Second Wave of Anthrax Attacks Targets Senators Daschle and Leahy.
26. John Bresnahan, “Hill Braces For Anthrax Threat,” Roll Call, October 15, 2001.
27. Daschle and D’Orso, Like No Other Time: The 107th Congress and the Two Years That Changed America Forever, 147.
28. MacQueen, The 2001 Anthrax Deception: The Case For a Domestic Conspiracy, chap. 5.
29. See, for example, Tish Schwartz, Chief Clerk/Administrator, House Committee on the Judiciary, “Effects of the Anthrax Attacks on the Drafting of the USA PATRIOT Act.” History, Art & Archives, United States House of Representatives
30. Colbert I. King, “Don’t Give In to the Anthrax Scare,” The Washington Post, October 27, 2001.
31. President Bush Signs Anti-Terrorism Bill (text of Bush Remarks on Oct. 26, 2001 prior to His Signing of the USA PATRIOT Act) (PBS Newshour, October 26, 2001)
32. MacQueen, The 2001 Anthrax Deception: The Case For a Domestic Conspiracy, chap. 5.
33. Ibid.
34. MacQueen, The 2001 Anthrax Deception: The Case For a Domestic Conspiracy. The linking of 9/11 and the anthrax attacks is a major theme in this book.

Malaysia Airlines MH17 Whodunnit Still a Mystery

September 10th, 2014 by Robert Parry

Beyond confirming that Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 apparently was shot down on July 17, the Dutch Safety Board’s interim investigative report answered few questions, including some that would seem easy to address, such as the Russian military radar purporting to show a Ukrainian SU-25 jetfighter in the area, a claim that the Kiev government denied.

Either the Russian radar showed the presence of a jetfighter “gaining height” as it closed to within three to five kilometers of the passenger plane – as the Russians claimed in a July 21 press conference – or it didn’t. The Kiev authorities insisted that they had no military aircraft in the area at the time.

But the 34-page Dutch report is silent on the jetfighter question, although noting that the investigators had received Air Traffic Control “surveillance data from the Russian Federation.”

The report is also silent on the “dog-not-barking” issue of whether the U.S. government had satellite surveillance that revealed exactly where the supposed ground-to-air missile was launched and who may have fired it.

The Obama administration has asserted knowledge about those facts – initially pointing the finger at ethnic Russian rebels using a powerful Buk anti-aircraft missile system supposedly supplied by Russia – but the U.S. government has withheld satellite photos and other intelligence information that could presumably corroborate the charge.

A Malaysia Airways' Boeing 777 like the one that crashed in eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014. (Photo credit: Aero Icarus from Zürich, Switzerland)

Image: A Malaysia Airways’ Boeing 777 like the one that crashed in eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014. (Photo credit: Aero Icarus from Zürich, Switzerland)

Curiously, too, the Dutch report, released on Tuesday, states that the investigation received “satellite imagery taken in the days after the occurrence.” Obviously, the more relevant images in assessing blame would be aerial photography in the days and hours before the crash that killed 298 people on the flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.

In mid-July, eastern Ukraine was a high priority for U.S. intelligence and a Buk missile battery is a large system that should have been easily picked up by U.S. aerial reconnaissance. The four missiles in a battery are each about 16-feet-long and would have to be hauled around by a truck and then put in position to fire.

Just days after the July 17 shoot-down, a source who was briefed by U.S. intelligence analysts told me that the analysts were examining satellite imagery that showed the crew manning the suspected missile battery wearing what looked like Ukrainian army uniforms.

Then, on July 22, at a briefing given to journalists from major U.S. publications, a U.S. intelligence official suggested that a Ukrainian military “defector” might have launched the Buk missile against the airliner, possibly explaining the issue of the uniforms.

The Los Angeles Times reported that “U.S. intelligence agencies have so far been unable to determine the nationalities or identities of the crew that launched the missile. U.S. officials said it was possible the SA-11 [Buk anti-aircraft missile] was launched by a defector from the Ukrainian military who was trained to use similar missile systems.”

The briefers also theorized that the rebels hit Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 by mistake, thinking it was a Ukrainian military aircraft.

Yet, while the U.S. government has released a variety of satellite photos to bolster various allegations lodged against ethnic Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine and the Russian government, the Obama administration has balked at providing satellite imagery relating to the Flight 17 case, instead basing much of its public case on “social media.”

Russian Satellite Images

The Dutch report’s reference to only post-crash satellite photos is also curious because the Russian military released a number of satellite images purporting to show Ukrainian government Buk missile systems north of the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk before the attack, including two batteries that purportedly were shifted 50 kilometers south of Donetsk on July 17, the day of the crash, and then removed by July 18.

Russian Lt. Gen. Andrey Kartopolov called on the Ukrainian government to explain the movements of its Buk systems and why Kiev’s Kupol-M19S18 radars, which coordinate the flight of Buk missiles, showed increased activity leading up to the July 17 shoot-down.

The Ukrainian government countered these questions by asserting that it had “evidence that the missile which struck the plane was fired by terrorists, who received arms and specialists from the Russian Federation,” according to Andrey Lysenko, spokesman for Ukraine’s Security Council, using Kiev’s preferred term for the rebels.

Lysenko added: “To disown this tragedy, [Russian officials] are drawing a lot of pictures and maps. We will explore any photos and other plans produced by the Russian side.” But Ukrainian authorities have failed to address the Russian evidence except through broad denials.

On July 29, amid escalating rhetoric against Russia from U.S. government officials and the Western news media, the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity called on President Barack Obama to release what evidence the U.S. government had on the shoot-down, including satellite imagery.

“As intelligence professionals we are embarrassed by the unprofessional use of partial intelligence information,” the group wrote. “As Americans, we find ourselves hoping that, if you indeed have more conclusive evidence, you will find a way to make it public without further delay. In charging Russia with being directly or indirectly responsible, Secretary of State John Kerry has been particularly definitive. Not so the evidence. His statements seem premature and bear earmarks of an attempt to ‘poison the jury pool.’”

However, the Obama administration failed to make public any intelligence information that would back up its earlier suppositions.

Then, in early August, I was told that some U.S. intelligence analysts had shifted away from the original scenario blaming the rebels and Russia to one focused more on the possibility that extremist elements of the Ukrainian government were responsible. But then chatter about U.S. intelligence information on the shoot-down faded away.

Given the intense global interest in the tragedy, there were high hopes that the Dutch Safety Board, which is heading up the international investigation, would at least begin clarifying the evidence and sifting through the conflicting claims. However, more than seven weeks after the crash, the preliminary report fails to address any of the evidence regarding who actually fired the missile and from precisely what location.

The Dutch Safety Board promised a final report before the first anniversary of the crash on July 17, 2015. By then, however, the slaughter of those 298 people could well become a cold case with little hope of finding the perpetrators – whoever they might be – and bringing them to justice.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his new book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon andbarnesandnoble.com). For a limited time, you also can order Robert Parry’s trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34. The trilogy includes America’s Stolen Narrative. For details on this offer, click here.

“It’s Uncle Sam who’s pushing us into this slaughter. And let’s be frank, many politicians in Ukraine are just following his orders.”

– Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko

The Minsk Ceasefire Protocol has very little chance of succeeding. In fact, the meeting between the warring parties was not convened to stop the violence as much as it was to buy time for the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) to retreat and regroup. In the last two weeks, the junta’s army has suffered “catastrophic” losses leaving President Petro Poroshenko with the choice of either calling for a truce or facing the unpleasant prospect of complete annihilation. Poroshenko wisely chose to withdraw under cover of the ceasefire agreement. But let’s not kid ourselves, Poroshenko only accepted that humiliation because he had no other choice. Once he gathers his forces and rearms, he’ll be back with a vengeance.

A recent survey found that 57 percent of the Ukrainian people oppose Poroshenko’s so-called “antiterror operation”. Even so, the fratricidal campaign will continue for the foreseeable future because it’s all part of Washington’s grand plan for the region. What the Obama administration is trying to do, is draw Russia into a costly and protracted conflagration in Ukraine to prove to its European allies that Russian President Vladimir Putin is a dangerous aggressor and a serious threat to global security. The US needs this justification to move ahead with its plan of establishing NATO forward-bases on Russia’s western border where they’ll pose an existential threat to Moscow’s survival.  The puppet Poroshenko’s role in this bloody farce is to exacerbate the humanitarian catastrophe, crush the resistance, and try to provoke Putin into sending in the tanks. So far, the bumbling “Chocolate King” has only made matters worse by destroying his army and sabotaging US plans for NATO intervention. Obama’s frustration was apparent in the speech he gave at the NATO summit in Wales last weekend. Here’s a clip:

“Russia must stop its violations of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.” Russia’s  “brazen assault”  on Ukraine “challenges the most basic of principles of our international system – that borders cannot be redrawn at the barrel of a gun; that nations have the right to determine their own future.  It undermines an international order where the rights of peoples and nations are upheld and can’t simply be taken away by brute force.”

Obama’s fulminations were meant to torpedo the ceasefire by poisoning the atmosphere and inflaming passions.  Even while the negotiations were underway,  the US and NATO were busy rattling sabers trying to derail the process. The summit in Wales was not so much a conference on regional defense as it was a platform for slinging mud at Russia and denouncing its “evil dictator” Putin. Like we said, Obama and Co. are getting frustrated by the fact that Putin has out maneuvered them at every turn. Here’s a clip from the New York Times with some details about the truce:

“The cease-fire agreement called for amnesty for all those who disarm and who did not commit serious crimes; the release of all hostages; the disbanding of militias; and the establishment of a 10-kilometer buffer zone (about six miles) along the Russian-Ukrainian border, with compliance overseen by international monitors.

It also points the way to a possible political solution to the conflict. Mr. Putin, insistent that Ukraine be tied to Russia instead of the West, has pressed for regional autonomy for the southeastern regions, while the Ukrainian government has so far been open only to the idea of decentralization.” (“A Cease-Fire in Ukraine”,New York Times).

Naturally, one would expect NATO and the US to tone down the rhetoric and postpone further escalation in order to show their support for the fragile ceasefire. But that hasn’t happened.

On Sunday, two NATO warships entered the Black Sea through the Bosporus joining French and US destroyers already located in the area. According to Itar Tass:

“The NATO ships’ crews will conduct the Sea Breeze exercises from September 8 to September 10. It is expected that along with the four abovementioned ships the drills will involve Turkey’s frigate Oruc Reis, Romania’s frigate Regele Ferdinand and Georgia’s patrol boat Sukhumi,” the source added.” (“Two NATO warships enter Black Sea – source“, Itar Tass)

The Sea Breeze exercises will be conducted at the same time as NATO military drills in Latvia that will involve more than “2,000 soldiers from nine different countries…(and which) ” simulate the deployment of NATO soldiers and equipment during a crisis situation.”

“We want to send a clear message to everyone who wants to threaten NATO, that it’s not a thing you should do,” General Hans-Lothar Domrose, commander of the NATO military command in Brunssum, Netherlands, told reporters.” (“NATO stages massive military drills in Latvia.”)

The drills have nothing to do protecting civilians from foreign aggression.  They’re a blatant attempt to intimidate Putin and show that the western alliance is willing to risk a Third World War to achieve its objectives in Ukraine. The same could be said about NATO’s new Rapid Reaction Force, which is a 4,000-man combat group that will be deployable to any place in Europe within 48 hours. The new “Spearhead” force creates the dangerous precedent of a NATO standing army which will be used by the same reckless organization that assisted in the destruction of Serbia, Afghanistan and Libya.  NATO’s interventions have been nearly as disastrous as those of the United States.

Aside from the additional troop deployments, warships to the Black Sea, and Rapid Reaction Force; we should not forget that the US Air Force deployed two B-2 stealth bombers to be stationed in east Europe earlier in the year.  The B-2′s, which are capable of delivering nuclear weapons to their targets, are a clear message to Moscow that Washington will take whatever steps it deems necessary to defend its interests in Eurasia.

Also, Poroshenko announced on Friday that he reached an agreement with a number of western governments on the delivery of lethal weapons. (Officials from the US have since denied that they will send arms to Kiev.)

In any event, the pattern is clear: Escalate, escalate, escalate. The United States is determined to establish a NATO beachhead in Ukraine consistent with its plan to pivot to Asia. The alarming buildup of military assets in the Balkans and the Black Sea, as well as the steady drumbeat of anti-Russia propaganda in the media, suggests that Washington is embarking on a major operation that could explode into a full-blown war.

Europeans Oppose Arming Ukraine

Despite the nonstop demonization of Russia in the media, there’s no indication that the European people support the current policy in Ukraine. Check this out:

“The Journal du dimanche reported yesterday that the German Marshall Fund think-tank is preparing to release a poll showing that 81 percent of Frenchmen and 85 percent of Germans oppose arming the Ukrainian regime. The same poll found that in every European country except Poland, a majority of the population opposes the entry of Ukraine into either NATO or the European Union.”…..(“Fighting flares in eastern Ukraine despite ceasefire”, Johannes Stern and Alex Lantier, World Socialist Web Site)

Finally, after 13 years of continuous warfare, the people have lost their appetite for US-NATO adventurism. Maybe there’s reason for hope, after all.

SANCTIONS: No Proof Needed

On Monday, the EU stepped up its economic war on Moscow by announcing a forth round of sanctions that could go into effect as early as Thursday. (The sanctions have been temporarily delayed so EU members can judge the effectiveness of the ceasefire.) The new measures will be the most painful to date and are aimed primarily at “three major state-run oil companies – Rosneft, Transneft and Gazprom Neft, as well as several companies of the military industrial sector.” The objective is to inflict maximum damage on the Russian economy by cutting off access to the capital markets, pushing the economy into recession, and triggering political instability. (The ultimate goal is regime change.)  Not surprisingly, there won’t be any sanctions on the gas sector, particularly,  Gazprom, which is Europe’s biggest gas supplier.  EU leaders have shown repeatedly that they are only too willing to stand on principal as long as their own interests aren’t effected.

It’s worth noting that the new sanctions will be imposed without any evidence of wrongdoing and without any legal process for Russia to defend itself.  The US and EU cannot be bothered with anything as trivial as due process or the presumption of innocence, which are the cornerstones upon which English Law rests dating back 500 years. Simply put: Russia is guilty because, well, because we say so.

There’s only the slimmest chance that the ceasefire in Ukraine will last, mainly because Washington needs a war to achieve its broader strategic objectives.  What Obama and his lieutenants really want is “to break up Russia,  subjugate its economic space, and establish control over the resources of the giant Eurasian continent. They believe that this is the only way they can maintain their hegemony and beat China.” (Quote: Sergei Glaziev, Putin’s economic advisor) That means, there won’t be peace in Ukraine until Washington’s puppets in Kiev are removed and Ukrainian sovereignty is restored.

Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle

Obama’s War in Iraq and Syria

September 10th, 2014 by Barry Grey

President Barack Obama will use his nationally televised speech tonight to officially announce what has already begun: a new US war in Iraq that will soon be extended to Syria.

The man who ran for president in 2008 as an opponent of Bush’s war in Iraq is, like his predecessor, seeking to justify American military violence in that tortured land and its extension into Syria with deceit and lies.

Just a month ago, announcing the initiation of US air strikes, Obama presented them as a short-term, narrowly focused measure restricted to providing “humanitarian relief” for Yazidi refugees threatened by Islamic State of Syria and Iraq (ISIS) militia and protecting US personnel in the Kurdish capital of Erbil.

Those pretexts failed to generate public support for renewed war in the Middle East and were quickly dropped. Then came the beheading of two American journalists by ISIS. The media ran lurid accounts of Western recruits to ISIS and an increased threat of terrorist attacks within the US.

The beheadings provided a new, made-to-order pretext, reviving “war on terror” fear-mongering, for US military intervention in the Middle East. It was handed to American imperialism by a Sunni jihadist group that owes it existence to Washington.

ISIS is a creation of the United States. It arose out of the destruction of Iraqi society by the US military between 2003 and 2011 and the colonialist policy pursued by Washington of whipping up sectarian warfare between Sunnis and Shiites.

In Syria, the organization was directly and indirectly armed and trained by the CIA as the spearhead of the US drive to overthrow the pro-Russian and pro-Iranian regime of Bashar al-Assad and replace it with a US puppet government. Much of its leadership has ties to American intelligence. (See: “American imperialism and the rise of Islamic extremism in Syria and Iraq.”)

The war on ISIS is camouflage for an unstated agenda. The United States is using military force to attempt once again to restructure Iraq in line with the aims of its 1991 war and its 2003 invasion—complete domination of the country’s vast oil resources.

Even more centrally, the new war is aimed at overthrowing Assad in Syria. It is an attempt to reverse the setback Washington suffered a year ago when it had to scuttle its plans to intervene in Syria on the basis of fabricated claims of chemical weapons attacks by Assad. The Obama administration was not able to generate any significant public support for such an attack and found itself internally divided.

Now, the same agenda is disguised as a war against ISIS, with which the US has been allied in the drive for regime-change in Syria. Administration officials are making clear in advance of Obama’s speech that he has adopted a policy of carrying out air strikes in Syria as well as Iraq. It is reported that Obama will urge Congress to authorize stepped up US military aid to so-called “rebels” in Syria.

The agenda of the new war is the basic agenda that lay behind Washington’s first war against Iraq 23 years ago—total US control of the energy resources of the Middle East.

It will continue to be pursued if Washington succeeds in toppling and likely murdering Assad (as it murdered Saddam Hussein in Iraq and Muammar Gaddafi in Libya). Washington will in short order openly resume its war drive against Iran.

The pursuit of US hegemony in the Middle East is also bound up with Washington’s war-mongering against Russia. Last year, Russia obstructed the Obama administration’s plans to attack Syria, Moscow’s only ally in the Arab world and the site of a major Russian naval base. The desire to remove an obstacle to US domination of the Middle East was a significant factor in the confrontation the US created with Moscow by conspiring to overthrow a pro-Russian government in Ukraine and replace it with a far-right, rabidly anti-Russian puppet regime.

This new war, like the ones that went before it, is being carried out over the heads of the American people, without any explanation or public discussion. The decisions are made by a cabal of military and intelligence operatives in consultation with Washington think tanks and Wall Street.

On Tuesday, Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), published a commentary outlining the aims of Obama’s Wednesday night speech. The CSIS is a key part of the nexus of government and military officials and national security think tanks that actually shapes the life-and-death decisions, including going to war, that impact the American and world population.

On his web site, which is produced for the political elite, Cordesman spelled out frankly what is being prepared. Noting that, “there are many good reasons the president needs to be cautious about what he says and not speak too openly about the details,” he made clear that Obama’s promises of “no combat troops on the ground” were virtually meaningless, and that what was being launched was a massive military escalation in the Middle East.

“There is a critical difference between no ground troops and no major ground combat units,” he wrote.

“The United States already has some 1,100 military personnel in Iraq and counting. It will need more in the future—plus civil intelligence personnel—for training, equipment transfers, targeting and intelligence analysis, and various enabling functions. Ideally, it will also need Special Forces or their equivalent to work with Sunni areas that return to supporting the government or become hostile to the Islamic State, work with the Kurds, and embed in Iraq forces to help provide tactical guidance and air strike planning…

“Limited US airpower may be able to contain the Islamic State, but it will take a far larger campaign to defeat it in Iraq and a campaign that strikes targets in Syria to have any chance of reducing the Islamic State back to a small extremist faction with only limited support. In practice, air power must be extended well beyond targeting forward IS combat elements and strike at the entire leadership, military forces, key cadres, and key strategic political and economic centers of IS operations.”

Under the heading “The Assad Problem: The Enemy of Our Enemy is Worse than Our Enemy,” Cordesman made clear that military action in Syria ostensibly targeting ISIS would be used to carry through the US policy of regime-change against Assad.

None of the conspirators are held accountable for their endless wars based on lies. On Tuesday, former Vice President Dick Cheney, a prime architect of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, met with Republican members of the House of Representatives to push for full-scale war in both Iraq and Syria.

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, whose résumé includes the murder of millions in Vietnam and the fascist coup that brought Pinochet to power in Chile, gave an interview to the Times of London in which he urged Obama to “launch an all-out attack” on ISIS, saying that air strikes should “not make any distinction between Syria and Iraq.”

The entire political establishment and corporate-controlled media are lined up behind the new war. Congress functions as a rubber stamp of the Pentagon and CIA.

These events underscore the fact that we live today in an age of permanent war. This is what Bush meant, speaking for the American ruling class, when he talked in 2001 of the “wars of the 21st Century.” One war follows another, each one more violent and ominous than the last.

The only thing that can stop perpetual war, leading inevitably to a nuclear World War III, is the independent movement of the working class in the United States and internationally against the source of imperialist war, the capitalist system.

Ukraine’s Whitewashed Odessa Massacre Report

September 10th, 2014 by Stephen Lendman

Ukraine is the epicenter of European fascist reemergence. May’s Odessa massacre revealed its ugly face.

Kiev bore full responsibility. What happened was no-holds-barred barbarism.

Reports at the time suppressed. Premeditated mass murder was committed as planned. More on this below.

On September 9, Itar Tass said Odessa-based media accused Kiev of fabricating its report.

“(W)itnesses’ evidence proving the involvement of National Security and Defense Council head Andryi Paruby” was excluded.

Kiev’s report suppressed “evidence of numerous witnesses about involvement in the riots of about 500 (Maidan) radicals…”

Regional governor Vladimir Nemrovsky “accommodated (them) in Odessa.”

Kiev’s report excluded Odessa branch Center Right Ukraine Democratic Alliance for Reform (UDAR) leadership names.

Former world heavyweight boxing champion/current Kiev major Vitali Klitschko heads it.

Other names are omitted. They include Maidan veteran Andrei Yusov and other Maidan leaders.

“…Radical nationalists…set ablaze a tent camp of pro-federalism activists and the House of Trade Unions (TUH).”

Kiev wrongfully blamed “pro-Russian activists” for neo-Nazi-infested Maidan radicals’ crimes.

Its report lied calling it “impossible” to determine cause of death of Odessa victims “due to the lack of state-of-the-art equipment.”

Verifiable evidence proves otherwise. Neo-Nazi Right Sector thugs set Odessa’s Trade Union House (TUH) ablaze.

People were trapped inside. Dozens were massacred. Scores more were injured. Many were missing.

They were either dead or in neo-Nazi hands. Early reports way underestimated what happened. It was multiples worse than reported.

Neo-Nazis isolated Odessans inside the TUH. A largely unwitnessed massacre followed.

Setting the building ablaze was strategy. It was done to conceal mass murder. Ordinary Ukrainians were slaughtered in cold blood.

Nearby tents were set on fire. Doing so preceded what followed. Right Sector thugs positioned themselves inside the TUH. They were there in advance.

They were armed and dangerous. Police did nothing to intervene. They conspired with fascist killers. So did Odessan firefighters.

They only appeared when TUH’s entrance doors burned through. Its building was five stories. From outside, fire was only visible in a single room.

Bodies were shown on upper floors untouched by fire. How did they get there? Who bore responsibility?

They were murdered in advance. Things were staged. They were made to seem like fire consumed them.

Corpses were dragged from where they died. People perished inside from gunshot wounds, strangling and beatings.

Some were thrown from windows. They didn’t jump. It bears repeating. Setting TUH ablaze masked what happened. Fire didn’t kill activists inside. Neo-Nazi hoodlums did.

Some corpses had burnt heads and shoulders only. Clothes they wore showed no signs of fire.

Someone doused their shoulders and heads with “flammable stuff.” Hands and wrists were burned to the bone.

Photos showed strange whitewash floor markings. It was powder from extinguishers.

Right Sector thugs used it on people they killed. They did so to protect themselves from fire and carbon monoxide poisoning.

Hardwood floors showed no signs of fire damage. Victims were murdered other ways.

Photographic evidence was damning. So were independent videos. They showed mass murder by means other than fire and/or carbon monoxide poisoning.

Some bodies had multiple gun shot wounds to the head. They were executed in cold blood at point blank range.

A pregnant woman was strangled with an electric wire. Hundreds were killed. As many as 300 or more.

Most were hacked to death with axes or clubbed to death with bats. Some were shot. Others were thrown from windows.

Survivor Tatyana Ivananko said anti-Kiev activists tried hiding from Right Sector thugs. They barricaded themselves for protection.

Right Sector thugs were inside the TUH before fire started. They wouldn’t let anyone out.

Most floors weren’t affected by fire. Victims died by other means, said Tatyanya.

At the time, damning videos circulated online. One showed a woman atop the TUH. She screamed for help.

Street-level thugs mocked her. She’s “not a woman,” they said. “She’s a separatist. Beat the s..t out of her so she finally shuts up.”

Acting prosecuting general Oleg Makhnitsky lied. It’s too early to know who set the building ablaze, he said.

Clear evidence proved otherwise. Coverup and Big Lies concealed it. Mass murder was ignored. Accountability remains denied.

Fascists operate this way. America is a hotbed of injustice. So is Ukraine. No-holds-barred barbarism reflects official policy.

Washington manipulates things covertly. Coup-appointed putschists are convenient stooges.

They committed gruesome atrocities. They murdered hundreds of Odessans in cold blood.

Survivors won’t forget May 2. Neo-Nazi Right Sector thugs planned well in advance. Western leaders buried truth. So did MSM scoundrels.

A survivor explained what she saw.

“When I was on the Cathedral Square, I personally saw with my own eyes how a man of maybe around 40 – they cut his throat.”

“They pushed him on the ground and cut his throat – and they shouted, ‘Glory to Ukraine.’ ”

“Everything happened so quickly. Someone said that we all have to get inside the Trades Union building.”

“Everyone quickly began carrying everything into the building and reinforcing everything inside.”

“When I was on the second floor, I saw many of the pro-Maidan (supporters) gathering around. They surrounded us.”

“They were all around the building.” A fire was “ignited…I went downstairs and heard shooting inside the building.”

A man “was shouting that the Right Sector was coming. Everybody run.”

“I ran into an office. Two men were brought in. They had suffocated. They were dead.”

“There was not a sound other than the shots. (A) couple of minutes passed. People inside said “(l)et us in. Let us in. We are with you. They are killing us.”

“I was in such a shock. I can’t even describe this to you. I did not expect that anyone could rejoice so much over killing someone.”

“My ears were wringing. We were screaming. We were just begging them not to kill us.”

“They killed everyone they saw. Everyone at once. A man was lying right by my feet. He was covered in blood. They beat him with bats.”

“They took one woman away. I don’t know where. Then as soon as they took me out of an office, I begged them to let me go because I have a small child.”

“They could not care less…I stood there. I saw everything. They were dragging people. I don’t know where they were taking them.”

“When they took me out of an office, I was walking on corpses. Then we went on the stairs and there I only saw blood.”

“I saw bodies in the hallway. They were dragging them. They began shooting.”

“People inside tried to get out to safety. Some of them were shot.”

Somehow the eyewitness survived. Most inside the TUH perished. Most others who got out were murdered.

It bears repeating. Right Sector thugs killed hundreds of Odessans in cold blood.

They shot them. They hacked them to death with axes. They beat them to death with bats.

They threw people out windows. Survivors able to escape were attacked outside. Most were murdered in cold blood.

Official accounts suppressed what happened. MSM scoundrels regurgitated official Big Lies.

Whitewash substituted for truth and full disclosure. Fascist regimes operate this way. America’s newest colony is one of the worst.

It bears repeating. It’s the epicenter of European fascist reemergence.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.” http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

NEW YORK – As disappearing airliners continue to dominate the headlines, new evidence is surfacing to negate official claims that the black boxes from the 9/11 planes were never found.

Firemen working at the Ground Zero in October 2001 claim to have found three of the four virtually indestructible boxes.  The telltale flight recorder “pinging” had earlier been reported by the director of the New York State Emergency Management Office, and was confirmed by radio frequency detectors.

This information is presented by the 24-member 9/11 Consensus Panel, which uses a rigorous medical model to establish its evidence.  The Panel has produced, over a three-year period, 44 peer-reviewed Consensus Points refuting official claims concerning the events of September 11, 2001.

Although 19 Muslim hijackers allegedly broke into the cockpits and commandeered four aircraft on 9/11, none of the eight pilots “squawked” the  7500 hijack code.

Nor is there any proof that the lost radar signals (which made NORAD interception difficult) resulted because alleged hijackers turned off the cockpit transponders.

This lack of proof is compounded by the fact that NORAD’s traditional procedures to intercept aircraft that deviate from course, or lose radar and radio contact, were not followed on 9/11.

Strangely, NORAD’s commander-in-chief, General Ralph Eberhart, had scheduled for the morning of 9/11 anunprecedented number of annual military air drills that involved most of the U.S. Air Force.

After being informed of the real-world attacks, Eberhart’s bewildering activities and decisions caused critical delays that led to an utterly failed military response.

His accounting of these delays, published in NORAD’s September 18, 2001, timeline, was reversed when he testified before the 9/11 Commission in 2003.

Further questions regarding official behavior arise in “Point MC-10:  The Activities of NYC Mayor Giuliani on September 11, 2001.

Giuliani told ABC’s Peter Jennings in the morning that while he and his Emergency Management team – who were in a building at 75 Barclay Street where they had set up temporary headquarters after the Twin Towers were struck – he had been warned that the World Trade Center was going to collapse.

Giuliani failed to warn others of this notification.   How he knew that the Twin Towers were going to collapse and why he did not pass this on requires intensive investigation under oath.

The 9/11 Consensus Panel joins such people as its Honorary Members, and more recently, 30-year career NSA official and whistle-blower William Binney, in calling for a new investigation into 9/11.

Source: The 9/11 Consensus Panel   @911consensus

Contact list: http://www.consensus911.org/media-contacts/

Coordinator: Elizabeth Woodworth, [email protected]

Hundreds of residents return to Khuza’a at the beginning of an August 1 ceasefire to dig out and collect bodies, and to salvage furniture, Khuza’a, east of Khan Younis, August 1, 2014. Khuza’a was cut off from the rest of the Gaza Strip and occupied by Israeli soldiers. A large number of residents were killed and injured, and many homes were destroyed. Most residents fled the Israeli attacks. 2,100 Palestinians were killed during the war, a majority of whom are believed to be civilians. (Photo: Activestills.org)

In a move that could strengthen the case for international investigation of alleged Israeli war crimes, B’Tselem says it will no longer share its current Gaza case files with the country’s Military Advocate General. Human rights watchdog declares that Israel is unable and unwilling to investigate alleged war crimes committed by its own soldiers.

Citing “severe structural flaws” in the Israeli military’s internal investigation mechanisms and a history of dismissing criminal allegations against military personnel, leading Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem announced on Sunday that it would not comply with a military request to share details of its independent investigations into alleged Israeli abuses in Gaza.

In its investigations into crimes committed by Israeli soldiers during Cast Lead in 2009, the Israeli military partially relied on evidence and testimonies collected by B’Tselem field workers.

In a joint statement with volunteer-run human rights organization Yesh Din, B’Tselem announced that it “has decided to reject [a] request made the Military Advocate for Operation Matters Lt.-Col. Ronen Hirsch to provide the military with information regarding ‘irregular’ incidents that occurred during Operation Protective Edge.”

The announcement comes amid increasing calls for international investigations of alleged Israeli war crimes in Gaza, including aiming heavy artillery fire at civilian areas.

“Common sense has it that a body cannot investigate itself,” said B’Tselem executive director Hagai El-Ad. “Yet, again, the military will be investigating its own conduct in Operation Protective Edge; again, these investigations will not be supervised by anyone outside the military.”

‘Whitewashing’

The military’s investigative apparatus, according to Yesh Din figures, yielded criminal indictments in only 1.4 percent of complaints filed on behalf of or by Palestinian victims — in both Gaza and the West Bank — between 2010 and 2013. For investigations into Israel’s two previous “operations” in Gaza — Cast Lead and Pillar of Defense — the percentage of indictments is almost nil. According to B’Tselem figures, following the end of Cast Lead in 2009, only three indictments were handed down out of a total of 400 reported incidents, with the harshest sentence “given to a soldier who stole a credit card.” B’Tselem says it knows of no criminal investigations following Pillar of Defense, the 2012 air assault on Gaza which lasted nine days.

El-Ad said the military’s investigations into “wartime incidents” amounted to whitewashing.

“It would be a welcome change if, instead of the existing whitewashing mechanisms, an independent apparatus were established to investigate suspected violations of international humanitarian law.”

International recourse

Palestinian leaders have said they intend to sign the Rome Statute, which would give the International Criminal Court the jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute Israelis for war crimes. Although it, too, could be subject to prosecution, Hamas has said it would back the bid.

In May, a group of Palestinian and international human rights groups urged Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to accede to the Rome Statute. The joint letter, which included signatures from Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, said that the move “could ensure access to international justice for victims of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed on Palestinian territories, and would send an important message that such crimes cannot be committed with impunity.”

Israel has recently denied entry to Gaza for both Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, both of which had been seeking entry to the enclave since July 8. Israel has also barred an investigative commission appointed by the UN’s Human Rights Council.

In addition to Palestine acceding to the Rome Statute, in order for the ICC to get involved it would have to determine that Israel is “unable or unwilling to genuinely carry out investigations into crimes committed by its citizens and prosecute the perpetrators.” Directly mirroring language used by the ICC itself to describe such situations, B’Tselem declared in its statement:

“Based on past experience, we can only regretfully say that Israeli law enforcement authorities are unable and unwilling to investigate allegations of breaches of international humanitarian law committed during fighting in Gaza.”

‘Grave suspicion’

In his letter to the Military Advocate General, El-Ad noted the need for an independent inquiry into Israel’s recent conduct in Gaza: “B’Tselem’s initial investigation indicates that some 40 percent of the Palestinians killed in the operation were minors, women, and men over the age of 60,” he wrote. “In addition, thousands of homes were destroyed and hundreds of thousands of people were uprooted from their homes. This reality is, in part, the direct result of directives given to the military, some of which raise grave suspicion of unlawfulness.”

Although the joint statement stopped short of calling for an international body to assume responsibility for such investigations, both organizations said they had lost confidence in existing Israeli investigative mechanisms and called for a new, “independent” means to uncover evidence of alleged Israeli crimes.

“Should the existing whitewashing mechanism be replaced with an independent investigative body, we would gladly cooperate with it,” said B’Tselem.

No accountability 

For its part, Yesh Din referred to the so-called Turkel Commission, which was charged with investigating Israel’s deadly raid on the May 31, 2010 Gaza Freedom Flotilla. The Israeli commission, which included two non-Israeli experts “appointed to serve as observers and to take an active role in all of the Commission’s work,” recommended that a “civilian body” be established within the Justice Ministry to oversee the military’s legal advice. The human rights groups welcomed the Commission’s report at the time but said the test would be in its implementation.

Today’s statement said that the “failure of the Government of Israel to implement the Turkel Commission’s recommendations, more than a year and a half after their publication, only reinforces” the two organizations’ conclusion that the military’s investigative apparatus “fails to promote accountability among those responsible.”

Bloomberg reports that A US probe into alleged money laundering by former Ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad (pictured), has led Austrian authorities to freeze a Vienna bank account linked to him.

Khalilzad allegedly transferred $1.4 million to a bank account owned by his wife, Cheryl Benard, in Vienna. According to reports, the money came from oil and building contracts in Iraq and the United Arab Emirates that allegedly violated U.S. laws.

The documents alleging the misconduct were said to be part of a cache of sensitive papers retrieved from a garbage bin earlier this year by a Vienna-based blogger.

Khalilzad sits on the board of Dubai-based RAK Petroleum, which operates in Iraq.

(Source: Bloomberg)

Anthony Freda Art

As the thirteenth anniversary of 9/11 draws closer so does the possibility that the United States and NATO will finally be able to realize their dream of direct airstrikes against the secular government of Bashar Al-Assad’s Syria.

After years of propaganda alleging Assad’s “brutality against his own people” and a recent volley of “ISIS is under the bed”-style hype, complete with beheadings, forced starvations, and other savagery, the American people remain utterly befuddled regarding the true nature of events taking place inside Syria, Iraq, and virtually every other country in the world, including their own. As a result, the buildup to a Western bombing campaign against Syria, while rejected by the general public only a year ago, will now likely move full steam ahead with the tacit support of the population.

Thus, as the thirteenth anniversary of 9/11 approaches, U.S. President Barack Obama is planning to make a dramatic statement regarding his strategy to combat ISIS in both Iraq and Syria.

Although Obama has repeatedly stated that he will not commit U.S. troops to either Iraq or Syria, the possibility of “targeted airstrikes” or aerial bombardment is by no means off the table. Of course, it is also important to point out that Obama has already broken his promise regarding boots on the ground in Iraq with the deployment of at least 1,100 American personnel in the Middle Eastern nation.

Still, as the Detroit Free Press reports, “The plan is expected to involve an expansion of air strikes in Iraq that began in August. Obama is also likely to discuss a coalition of allies that has been assembled in opposition to the Islamic State, and to brace Americans for the possibility that the battle could take years.” In other words, Obama is once again channeling his inner George W. Bush in promoting war with no end against a sovereign state who is the victim of Anglo-American meddling and Western-backed terrorism.

The DFP also states that “In his speech, the president may also discuss the long-term potential for air strikes in Syria, though military action in that country is not considered imminent.”

In a recent interview with NBC’s Meet The Press, Obama stated that he expected Syrians to battle ISIS on their own land. Obama said “In terms of controlling territory, we’re going to have to develop a moderate Sunni opposition that can control territory and that we can work with. The notion that the United States should be putting boots on the ground, I think would be a profound mistake. And I want to be very clear and very explicit about that.”

Obama’s statement is quite interesting considering the fact that his administration claims to have been doing just that – developing a moderate Sunni opposition that can control territory and that we can work with – since 2011. So either his upcoming speech will simply be more repetition of tired talking points that serve to cover up the fact that the West is backing ISIS or it will be admission that there is no moderate opposition inside Syria which would reveal that the U.S. has been backing ISIS all along.

All of this, of course, will simply go over the heads of Americans more focused on “supporting the troops” and football stats than the slaughter of thousands of people overseas or a potential nuclear war with Russia over Ukraine. 

There Are No Moderates In Syria

In reality, the so-called “opposition” in Syria is anything but moderate. As Tony Cartalucci wrote in his article, “In Syria, There Are No Moderates,”

 

. . . . . there were never, nor are there any “moderates” operating in Syria. The West has intentionally armed and funded Al Qaeda and other sectarian extremists since as early as 2007 in preparation for an engineered sectarian bloodbath serving US-Saudi-Israeli interests. This latest bid to portray the terrorists operating along and within Syria’s borders as “divided” along extremists/moderate lines is a ploy to justify the continued flow of Western cash and arms into Syria to perpetuate the conflict, as well as create conditions along Syria’s borders with which Western partners, Israel, Jordan, and Turkey, can justify direct military intervention.

Indeed, even the New York Times has been forced to admit that there are, as Cartalucci expertly argues in his article, no moderates in the ranks of the Syrian death squads. As Ben Hubbard wrote in April, 2013,

In Syria’s largest city, Aleppo, rebels aligned with Al Qaeda control the power plant, run the bakeries and head a court that applies Islamic law. Elsewhere, they have seized government oil fields, put employees back to work and now profit from the crude they produce.

Across Syria, rebel-held areas are dotted with Islamic courts staffed by lawyers and clerics, and by fighting brigades led by extremists. Even the Supreme Military Council, the umbrella rebel organization whose formation the West had hoped would sideline radical groups, is stocked with commanders who want to infuse Islamic law into a future Syrian government.

Nowhere in rebel-controlled Syria is there a secular fighting force to speak of.[emphasis added]

ISIS Is Controlled By NATO

It is important to point out that the Islamic State is not some shadowy force that emerged from the caves of Afghanistan to form an effective military force that is funded by Twitter donations and murky secretive finance deals. IS is entirely the creation of NATO and the West and it remains in control of the organization.

As Tony Cartalucci writes in his article “Implausible Deniability: West’s ISIS Terror Hordes In Iraq,”

Beginning in 2011 – and actually even as early as 2007 – the United States has been arming, funding, and supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and a myriad of armed terrorist organizations to overthrow the government of Syria, fight Hezbollah in Lebanon, and undermine the power and influence of Iran, which of course includes any other government or group in the MENA region friendly toward Tehran.

Image: ISIS corridors begin in Turkey and end in Baghdad. [image credit: Land Destroyer]

Billions in cash have been funneled into the hands of terrorist groups including Al Nusra, Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), and what is now being called “Islamic State in Iraq and Syria” or ISIS. One can see clearly by any map of ISIS held territory that it butts up directly against Turkey’s borders with defined corridors ISIS uses to invade southward – this is because it is precisely from NATO territory this terrorist scourge originated.

ISIS was harbored on NATO territory, armed and funded by US CIA agents with cash and weapons brought in from the Saudis, Qataris, and NATO members themselves. The “non-lethal aid” the US and British sent including the vehicles we now see ISIS driving around in.

They didn’t “take” this gear from “moderates.” There were never any moderates to begin with. The deadly sectarian genocide we now see unfolding was long ago predicted by those in the Pentagon – current and former officials – interviewed in 2007 by Pulitzer Prize-winning veteran journalist Seymour Hersh.

Hersh’s 9-page 2007 report, “The Redirection” states explicitly:

To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.

“Extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam” and are “sympathetic to Al Qaeda” – is a verbatim definition of what ISIS is today. Clearly the words of Hersh were as prophetic as they were factually informed, grounded in the reality of a regional conflict already engineered and taking shape as early as 2007. Hersh’s report would also forewarn the sectarian nature of the coming conflict, and in particular mention the region’s Christians who were admittedly being protected by Hezbollah.

While Hersh’s report was written in 2007, knowledge of the plan to use death squads to target Middle Eastern countries, particularly Syria, had been reported on even as far back as 2005 by Michael Hirsh and John Barry for Newsweek in an article entitled “The Salvador Option.”

Regardless, Cartalucci states in a separate article, “NATO’s Terror Hordes In Iraq A Pretext For Syria Invasion,”

In actuality, ISIS is the product of a joint NATO-GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] conspiracy stretching back as far as 2007 where US-Saudi policymakers sought to ignite a region-wide sectarian war to purge the Middle East of Iran’s arch of influence stretching from its borders, across Syria and Iraq, and as far west as Lebanon and the coast of the Mediterranean. ISIS has been harbored, trained, armed, and extensively funded by a coalition of NATO and Persian Gulf states within Turkey’s (NATO territory) borders and has launched invasions into northern Syria with, at times, both Turkish artillery and air cover. The most recent example of this was the cross-border invasion by Al Qaeda into Kasab village, Latikia province in northwest Syria.

Cartalucci is referring to a cross-border invasion that was coordinated with NATO, Turkey, Israel, and the death squads where Israel acted as air force cover while Turkey facilitated the death squad invasion from inside its own borders.

Airstrikes Will Be Directed At Assad

Despite all the browbeating by the Western media suggesting that any targeted airstrikes would be strikes against ISIS, the truth is that the airstrikes are actually aimed at the Syrian government. The United States allowed ISIS to conquer Iraqi territory so as to justify the eventual invasion of Syria in addition to the reinvasion of Iraq. Indeed, any deployment of American troops, airstrikes, or any other type of US military force, will necessitate a battle against ISIS inside Iraq as well as “cross-border” strikes against the organization in Syria. Such “cross-border” strikes would likely be met with apathetic support from the American people since any restraint regarding borders will be presented and then viewed as placing “handcuffs on the troops.”

Make no mistake, however, any military action taken across the border inside Syria will not be taken for the purposes of eliminating ISIS. The truth is that such military action will be nothing more than a backdoor attempt at establishing the “buffer zone” that NATO so ardently desired early on in the Syrian conflict. With the establishment of this “buffer zone,” a new staging ground will be opened that allows terrorists such as ISIS and others the ability to conduct attacks even deeper inside Syria.

ISIS Attack On Taqba Airbase – The Precursor To A NATO Attack On Syria

Keeping in mind that ISIS is controlled and directed by NATO and Western intelligence, the fact that the death squads have recently focused on the Taqba Airbase in Raqqa province is significant. Particularly when viewed in context of the recent “debate” taking place in front of the American public by the Obama administration on whether or not to engage in targeted airstrikes inside Syria.

For those who may not see the pattern – while the United States and NATO deliberated engaging in targeted airstrikes in Syria and the Syrian government subsequently states its opposition to those attacks and its intentions to shoot down the planes delivering those strikes if they do not coordinate with the Syrian government, death squads have effectively eliminated the air defense capability of the Syrian government in the east of the country.

After all, the Pentagon even stated that one of the biggest threats to an airstrike operation in Syria is the Syrian government’s air defenses. Thanks to ISIS, those air defenses no longer exist in the east of Syria.

This was the end game of the ISIS battle to take over Taqba from the start – eliminate air defenses so that the NATO powers can launch airstrikes against the Syrian military and thus freeing up a launching pad for the terrorists to conduct attacks even deeper into Syria.

With the James Foley beheading video being largely understood as a staged propaganda ploy as well the fact that ISIS and its related terrorist organizations are funded, directed, and trained by the United States and NATO, it is imperative that the American people speak out and oppose the impending strike on Syria.

So far, on this particular issue, American apathy has largely contributed to preventing a war.

Unfortunately, with slightly more clever propaganda narratives, that apathy has been converted over to the benefit of the world oligarchy.

Thus, while apathy may have prevented the desire for a fight the first time around, that same apathy may well serve to allow one the second.

Palestinians collect their belongings from under the rubble of a residential tower, which witnesses said was destroyed by an Israeli air strike in Gaza City on Aug. 24. Credit: UN Photo/Shareef Sarhan

Israel and its supporters abroad have parried accusations of indiscriminate destruction and mass killing of civilians in Gaza by arguing that they were consequences of strikes aimed at protecting Israeli civilians from rockets that were being launched from very near civilian structures.

That defence has already found its way into domestic U.S. politics. A possible contender for the Democratic nomination for president, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, defended her vote for more military aid for Israel during the Israeli assault on Gaza by citing the rocket launch defence.

“[W]hen Hamas puts its rocket launchers next to hospitals, next to schools, they’re using their civilian population to protect their military assets,” said Warren. “And I believe Israel has a right, at that point, to defend itself.”

But although some Hamas rockets were launched near homes or other civilian structures, military developments on both sides have rendered that defence of Israeli attacks on civilian targets invalid.

The rocket launchers for Hamas’s homemade Qassam missiles consist of simple tripods that can be removed in seconds, and the extensive Hamas tunnel network has given it underground launching sites as well as storage facilities for its larger, longer-range Grad and M-75 missiles.

On the other side, the Israeli Air Force possesses air-to-ground missiles that are so accurate that they can destroy a very small target without any damage to civilian structure even if it is very close.

A video released by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in a report on Hamas’s “illegal use of civilian infrastructure” last month shows an attack – obviously by an Israeli drone — on an underground rocket launcher only a few metres away from a mosque causing no damage whatever to the mosque.

These technological changes take away any justification for flattening civilian buildings even if a rocket launch site is nearby. In fact, however, the evidence now available indicates that Hamas launch sites are not that close to hospitals, schools and mosques.

The IDF sought in mid-July to use the rocket launcher defence to explain the damage to Al Wafa Rehabilitation and Geriatic Hospital in eastern Gaza City from 15 rockets, which forced the staff to evacuate its patients. An IDF spokesman said the military had “no choice” because rockets had been launched from very near the hospital.

Clearly revealing that the rocket launch justification for the attack was a ruse, however, the spokesman revealed to Allison Degler of Mondoweiss that the alleged launch site was 100 metres from the hospital. That would have been far more space than was needed to strike the launch site without any damage to the hospital whatever.

A report released by the IDF August 19 included an aerial view of Al Wafa Hospital with two alleged rocket launching sites marked at locations that appeared to be much farther from the hospital than the 100 metres claimed by the IDF spokesman.

The IDF nevertheless went so far as to declare on July 21, “Hamas fires rockets from Wafa hospital in the Gaza neighborhood of Shujaiya.”

When the IDF destroyed Al Wafa hospital completely by airstrikes on July 23, it abandoned the pretense that the reason was a Hamas rocket launch site. Instead it released a video purporting to show firing at IDF troops from the hospital.

It turned out, however, the video clips of the firing had been shot during Operation Cast Lead in 2009, not in 2014.

The IDF has continued to suggest that its destruction of public civilian facilities was forced on it by rocket launches from within those facilities. At the end of the Operation Protective Edge the IDF spokesman’s office claimed that 597 rockets had been launched from civilian facilities, of which 160 were allegedly fired from schools, 50 from hospitals, and 160 from mosques.

But those figures were produced only by pretending that launching sites some distance from the facilities in question were on the premises of the facilities.

An IDF “declassified report” released August 19, aimed at showing that civilian facilities were serving as military infrastructure for Hamas, includes no evidence of any rocket launches on the grounds of any civilian facility.

A very blurry 20-second video appears to show a rocket launch from what is identified as “Abu Nur” school. But it, too, is deceptive. A black streak rises from the area of the school for a little more than a second of the video, but for the entire length of the video two voices declare repeatedly that they saw three rockets launched “from within the school”.

Careful viewing of the footage reveals, however, that the apparent launch comes from outside the wall of the three-story school building rather than from within it.

In three other cases of alleged rocket launches from schools, the IDF provides no visual evidence – only large red dots drawn on an aerial view of the schools.

During the Operation Protective Edge, the IDF openly targeted mosques, claiming they are military targets, demolishing 73 mosques and partially destroying 205 more.

The August 19 IDF report refers to a “rocket cache and gathering point for militants hidden in a mosque” in Nuseirat. But despite frequent repetitions of the notion that Hamas routinely stores rockets in mosques, the IDF has not produced photographic evidence of rocket storage in a single mosque.

Nor has the IDF made public any video evidence of secondary explosions from the destruction of mosques. In a tacit admission that such evidence is lacking, the report instead cites an instance of a “concealed entrance” to a Hamas tunnel located between a mosque and a school.

The most extensive destruction of civilian structures in Operation Protective Edge was the complete leveling of large parts of entire neighbourhoods in the Shujaiya district of Gaza City on July 19. After the United Nations published a map showing the complete destruction of those areas of Shujaiya, the IDF published its own map on August 4 aimed at justifying the destruction.

The map shows that the IDF can’t claim the proximity of Hamas rocket launching sites as the justification for the leveling of many residential blocks in Shujaiya. The Israeli military had identified every home in the devastated neighbourhoods on its map as a “hideout” for Hamas or Islamic Jihad fighters.

The IDF obviously did not have actual intelligence on each of those homes that had been reduced to rubble. The massive designation of houses as “hideouts” indicates the Israelis believed Palestinian fighters were hiding in some of them.

Although the red dots on the IDF map identifying rocket launch sites are too big to estimate accurately the distance between them and the closest houses, only a few such dots appear to be as close as one city block to a house in one of the areas of massive destruction. And all but a few of the homes destroyed are much farther than a block from the alleged launching sites.

An account of the Shujaiya destruction by journalist Mark Perry based on a July 21 U.S. Defence Department report recalls that the IDF fired 7,000 artillery shells at residential areas in the district the night of July 19, including 4,500 shells in the space of just seven minutes.

Such massive and indiscriminate destruction of civilian structures is strictly prohibited by the international laws of war. Israeli officials have frequently said the purpose of IDF military operations in both Lebanon and Gaza was to “deter” their adversaries in the future by imposing heavy costs on the civilian population.

Gareth Porter, an investigative historian and journalist specialising in U.S. national security policy, received the UK-based Gellhorn Prize for journalism for 2011 for articles on the U.S. war in Afghanistan. His new book, Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare, was published February 14, 2014.

The Dutch Safety Board’s (DSB’s) preliminary report into the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (MH17) is being portrayed by imperialist governments and their media spokesmen as confirmation that anti-Kiev rebels in eastern Ukraine shot the plane down with a Russian-supplied Buk surface-to-air missile.

While claims of indirect Russian responsibility for the destruction of MH17 are at the heart of the US-NATO propaganda over Ukraine, the report says nothing of the sort. In fact, it does not even state that the aircraft was shot down. MH17 crashed on July 17, in the war zone of eastern Ukraine. All 298 passengers and crew members lost their lives.

The DSB’s report states that, in accordance with the stated “sole objective” of “the prevention of similar accidents and incidents,” it does not “apportion blame or liability in respect of any party”—something that the capitalist media downplays or ignores.

The only basis on which the media can again repeat their assertions that pro-Russian separatists were responsible is the report’s statement that “The damage observed in the forward section of the aircraft appears to indicate that the aircraft was penetrated by a large number of high-energy objects from outside the aircraft” (emphasis added).

But the report never once identifies what it means by “high-energy objects.” It also claims that, even though enough of the wreckage was recovered to confirm that the aircraft appears to have been particularly badly hit above the level of the cockpit floor, DSB investigators supposedly failed to recover or study any of the objects that penetrated the plane.

The report as issued is equally compatible with radar and satellite data presented July 21 by the Russian military, indicating that a Ukrainian SU-25 fighter jet was in the immediate vicinity and ascending towards MH17 as it was shot down. Missiles and machinegun rounds fired by an SU-25 are also “high-energy objects.” This possibility has not been addressed, let alone refuted by Kiev, Washington or anyone else involved in the investigation.

On August 9, the Malaysian New Straits Times published an article effectively charging the Kiev regime with shooting down MH17. It stated that evidence from the crash site indicated that the plane was shot down by a Ukrainian fighter with a missile followed by heavy machine gun fire. The report was subsequently ignored by the world’s media.

In the days immediately following the tragic incident, the accusations now repeated ad nauseam were used to ramp up a confrontation with Russia, including punitive sanctions and NATO military manoeuvres.

Since then, at least up until yesterday, an extraordinary silence descended over the affair. Now, once again, without any evidence, the world’s population faces a new barrage of propaganda from Washington and Kiev and their accomplices.

Australian prime minister Tony Abbott, for example, said, “The findings are consistent with the government’s statement that MH17 was shot down by a large surface-to-air missile.”

Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak said the report “leads to the strong suspicion that a surface-to-air missile brought MH17 down, but further investigative work is needed before we can be certain.”

The BBC’s transport correspondent Richard Westcott stated that, whereas, “This report doesn’t say flight MH17 was knocked from the sky by a missile,” it “pretty much rules out anything else.”

In fact, not one word of anything reported regarding the fate of flight MH17 can be taken at face value. All of those involved in the investigation and its coverage have a vested interest in asserting Russia’s responsibility, at least indirectly, for the plane being shot down.

The 34-page DSB report is based upon an investigation in accordance with the statutes of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), an agency of the United Nations. Ukraine requested the Netherlands undertake the investigation on July 23, 2014, a week after the crash.

According to ICAO guidance, “a preliminary report shall be submitted to appropriate States and to ICAO within 30 days after the occurrence.” But, because it was a “complex investigation,” the DSB states that “the date of publication of the preliminary report was extended by approximately three weeks.”

A full report will not be made until sometime within a year of the investigation being launched.

The preliminary findings were based on an analysis of photographs collected by various sources, radar footage obtained from Ukraine and Russia and initial reports from Ukrainian and Malaysian crash investigators. Due to the area of the site remaining a war zone, the DSB said access to the site of the wreckage by international air safety experts had not yet been possible and it was their intention to visit the site when it was safe to do so.

The DSB does not address the absence of any satellite imagery or radar data, or any other evidence supplied by US intelligence agencies, which operate the most powerful global surveillance network. It is implausible, to say the least, to imagine that Washington’s vast apparatus was paying no attention to the war zone of eastern Ukraine, which is also a regular flight path for many commercial airline flights.

Moreover, the US was heading a 10-day NATO exercise in the adjacent Black Sea, which concluded the day MH17 was downed. This operation specifically involved commercial traffic monitoring with sophisticated electronic intelligence and “reaction to asymmetric threat warnings, anti-submarine warfare and artillery firing.”

In sharp contrast, following the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988, photographs of the area taken by a French satellite were delivered to the investigators within hours. The US Department of Defence and NASA also provided the investigation with high-resolution photographs from spy satellites.

Despite Russia continually requesting that the US administration supply the investigation with the images and data it obviously possesses relating to the MH17 crash, it has refused to do so.

Noting that it was not credible that the US did not possess detailed knowledge of the circumstances of the crash, the WSWS wrote on August 18,

“If the evidence that is in Washington’s hands incriminated only Russia and the Russian-backed forces, it would have been released to feed the media frenzy against Putin. If it has not been released, this is because the evidence points to the involvement of the Ukrainian regime in Kiev and its backers in Washington and the European capitals.”

A separate criminal investigation into the crash is being carried out by the Dutch prosecution service at The Hague, involving 10 Dutch prosecutors and 200 police officers. In this case, the criminal investigators have given no time scale as to when their investigation will be completed.

Critical information regarding the fate of MH17 is likely being withheld. A leaked document dated August 8 and obtained by the Russian website Live Journal and translated into English by the Global Research web site is reportedly a non-disclosure agreement signed by the four nations involved in the MH17 investigation—Ukraine, the Netherlands, Australia and Belgium. Under its terms, all intermediate results of the ongoing investigation will be classified. The document includes a stipulation that publication of the investigation’s final results would only take place if Ukraine, the Netherlands, Australia and Belgium arrived at a consensus.

The International Business Times (IBT) noted, “The nations involved signed the agreement, the Verkhovna Rada [parliament] of Ukraine then ratified the agreement, after which Malaysian authorities were allowed to join the investigation.”

The IBT report cited Russian prosecutor-general Yuri Boychenko saying, “Any one of the signatories has the right to veto the publication of the results of the investigation without explanation.”

Instances of the United States overthrowing, or attempting to overthrow, a foreign government since the Second World War. (* indicates successful ouster of a government)

  • China 1949 to early 1960s
  • Albania 1949-53
  • East Germany 1950s
  • Iran 1953 *
  • Guatemala 1954 *
  • Costa Rica mid-1950s
  • Syria 1956-7
  • Egypt 1957
  • Indonesia 1957-8
  • British Guiana 1953-64 *
  • Iraq 1963 *
  • North Vietnam 1945-73
  • Cambodia 1955-70 *
  • Laos 1958 *, 1959 *, 1960 *
  • Ecuador 1960-63 *
  • Congo 1960 *
  • France 1965
  • Brazil 1962-64 *
  • Dominican Republic 1963 *
  • Cuba 1959 to present
  • Bolivia 1964 *
  • Indonesia 1965 *
  • Ghana 1966 *
  • Chile 1964-73 *
  • Greece 1967 *
  • Costa Rica 1970-71
  • Bolivia 1971 *
  • Australia 1973-75 *
  • Angola 1975, 1980s
  • Zaire 1975
  • Portugal 1974-76 *
  • Jamaica 1976-80 *
  • Seychelles 1979-81
  • Chad 1981-82 *
  • Grenada 1983 *
  • South Yemen 1982-84
  • Suriname 1982-84
  • Fiji 1987 *
  • Libya 1980s
  • Nicaragua 1981-90 *
  • Panama 1989 *
  • Bulgaria 1990 *
  • Albania 1991 *
  • Iraq 1991
  • Afghanistan 1980s *
  • Somalia 1993
  • Yugoslavia 1999-2000 *
  • Ecuador 2000 *
  • Afghanistan 2001 *
  • Venezuela 2002 *
  • Iraq 2003 *
  • Haiti 2004 *
  • Somalia 2007 to present
  • Libya 2011*
  • Syria 2012

Q: Why will there never be a coup d’état in Washington?

A: Because there’s no American embassy there.

Global Research Editor’s note: To this list published in February 2013, we must add Ukraine, where Viktor Yanukovych was successfully ousted in February 2014.

A ceasefire in the war in eastern Ukraine was announced in Minsk, Belarus on September 5. Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko made a simultaneous announcement in Wales where he was a special guest at the summit meeting of the NATO military alliance. A 12-point agreement was signed in Minsk by representatives of the Kyiv government and the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. Also signing were former Ukraine President Leonid Kuchma, Russian ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov and Heidi Tagliavini of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

The text of the agreement has been published in Russian (unofficialtranslation to English). Terms include a cessation of military hostilities, exchanges of prisoners of war and release of people illegally detained, humanitarian aid and reconstruction assistance, and most importantly, recognition of political autonomy for the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in the southeast of the country.

The autonomy provision presumably obliges the withdrawal of Ukrainian military and fascist paramilitary forces from southeast Ukraine. But it’s not clear if that will happen, including from the important cities of Mariupol and Slavyansk.

Shelling of Donetsk on September 4, 2014.

An Unresolved Conflict

The ceasefire and the political autonomy that is recognized are considerable political achievements for the rebellion in southeast Ukraine. For the past four and a half months, the people of the region have resisted a brutal, military offensive launched by the governing regime in Kyiv. Only a few weeks ago, the military offensive was threatening to encircle the large cities of the region and crush self-defense forces.

On August 27, rebels launched a counter-attack along the Black Sea coast and at several locations inland, delivering what eyewitnesses are calling a “catastrophic” defeat of Kyiv forces (more on that below).

Both sides in the conflict are militarily exhausted, meaning prospects for the ceasefire holding in the short term are good. But there are many reasons to doubt that it will hold over the longer term. The main reason is that the signators on the Kyiv side and their international backers are expressing little support for it.

NATO says it will proceed with more sanctions on Russia, showing no sign of relenting in its propaganda war claiming that Russia has “invaded” Ukraine.

An aide to President Poroshenko, Yuri Lytsenko, says that five NATO countries – the U.S., France, Italy, Poland and Norway will provide advanced arms to Ukraine. According to Associated Press, NATO’s response to that inconvenient news leak is to say that while the alliance itself will not send weapons to Ukraine, “individual allies may choose to do so.”

The fascist paramilitaries that comprise an important component of Kyiv’s military forces say they have no loyalty or commitment to the ceasefire. Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk is already speaking of reimposing “martial law” in southeast Ukraine at the first sign of breakdown of the ceasefire.

On the other side, what is the reaction of the people of southeast Ukraine to the news? Many will be thankful if the bombardments from Kyiv stop. But they have endured five months of shelling, occupation and carnage brought upon them by Kyiv and it’s difficult for them to see any future in such a country. At least three leaders of the self-defense forces – Paul Gubarev, Igor Strelkov and Alexey Mozgovoi – have expressed skepticism about the agreement. All this means that patience with the inevitable provocations and violations of the ceasefire by Kyiv and its fascist allies will be very thin.

An example of the political challenge for Kyiv is provided in a report in The Guardian on September 4 from the Black Sea port city of Mariupol, Donetsk region. The city has been under Kyiv’s control, and yet,

“Many in Mariupol, especially among the workers of the city’s two giant steel plants, remain ambivalent toward the government in Kiev and some openly support the Donetsk rebels, suggesting the possibility of a messy battle if an assault on the city does take place.”

It’s doubtful that many of the one million or more people made refugees by the war will return home amidst ongoing uncertainty, including the fact that the economic interests driving the war are still hell-bent on their course.

A Stunning Military Setback for Kyiv

Details are only just emerging of the stunning military losses by the Ukraine army and rightist militias after self-defense forces launched a broad counter-attack on August 27. Tim Judah reports in the New York Review of Books on September 5:

“The scale of the devastation suffered by Ukrainian forces in southeastern Ukraine over the last week has to be seen to be believed. It amounts to a catastrophic defeat and will long be remembered by embittered Ukrainians as among the darkest days of their history.”

Judah writes of seeing lengthy columns of tanks and other armoured vehicles utterly destroyed as they sought to retreat from advanced positions where they risked being surrounded. The UK Telegraph published on September 2 a similarly grim description of the Ukraine army and militia setback.

The rebel victory and the ceasefire it prompted have come at an exceptionally high human cost on both sides. Exact casualty figures of Ukraine’s army and militias are kept secret. Kyiv’s figures speak of nearly 1,000 military deaths and thousands of injuries since it launched its “anti-terrorist operation” in late April. But unofficial casualty figures are in the tens of thousands.

The war crimes committed by Kyiv have taken an enormous toll on civilians. Unable to capture large cities, the regime instead rained artillery on them over several months. Thousands of residents have died or suffered injury. Many thousands of homes and apartments have been damaged or destroyed, as have factories and coal mines. Life support systems such as water, electricity, communication and medical services have been heavily damaged or destroyed. Among the targets of shelling have been schools and hospitals.

The cities of Donetsk and Luhansk have seen about half of their populations of 1.1 million and 450,000, respectively, flee for safety. The latest figures on refugees by the UN Refugee Agency place the number of war refugees inside Ukraine at more than 260,000 – double the number of one month earlier. The agency cites Russian government figures that more than 816,000 Ukrainians have fled to that country this year.

The cost of reconstructing all that has been destroyed is in the billions of dollars.

A Crazed War of Austerity and Authoritarianism

The war is an effort to crush resistance to the neo-conservative government which came to power in Kyiv late February. The new regime embarked on an abrupt, about-turn for the country, announcing it would sign an austerity, economic agreement with Europe and thereby throw the country’s industrial and agricultural production open to the vagaries of the international capitalist market. Another condition of any agreement with Europe (and the U.S.) is deep cuts to social spending, which the government began to make months ago.

Industry in the east is heavily dependent on trade with Russia and especially vulnerable to “free trade” competition from western Europe. This explains why anti-austerity rebellion took deeper hold there, compared to the more agricultural western Ukraine. The agreement with Europe was signed in June.

The austerity and related war drive is accompanied by harsh crackdowns on democratic rights. These include bans on media and internet expression, bans on political parties, notably the Communist Party of Ukraine, and a measure that gives police the right to shoot on sight anyone deemed to be a “separatist.”

Antiwar or anti-conscription protests by families and friends of conscripted soldiers have been on the rise ever since Kyiv imposed a third round of military conscription in July. A remarkable video interview with a Ukrainian soldier recently captured by self-defense forces describes the harsh conditions of service of conscript soldiers and the increasing disaffection with a war neither they nor their family and friends want.

Anger and bitterness by protesters and soldiers at having their worst fears about the war realized are going to reap a terrible whirlwind of recrimination against the government and other supporters of the war in the weeks and months ahead.

And the grim news is not only military. Ukraine’s national treasury is now largely dependent on loans from the IMF and other international financial institutions. Writing in Forbes magazine on September 5, Mark Adomanis says the cost of the war and the scale of the destruction it has caused guarantees that Ukraine will enter into financial default:

“Even with substantial international assistance, Ukraine is going to owe a lot of money to a lot of different people and it isn’t going to have the means necessary to pay this money back.

“It’s also worth taking a second to remember that the ‘reforms’ demanded by the IMF primarily amount to harsh austerity measures (primarily cuts in gas subsidies) that are massively unpopular among Ukrainians and that will have a hugely negative impact on the population’s living standard, which isn’t very high to begin with. There’s a reason that Yanukovych and every other post-Soviet Ukrainian leader has obstinately refused to implement these reforms (Ukrainians hate them!) and it doesn’t take a particularly active imagination to devise a scenario in which the reforms backfire and ultimately cause the onset of yet another political crisis.”

The government faces an acute challenge in preparing the country for winter. Its reckless confrontation with Russia has compromised the natural gas supply Ukraine was receiving from there, at cut-rate prices, no less. And its war has severely damaged coal production. Several months ago, the provisioning of hot water in many cities of western Ukraine was cut in an effort to conserve fuel stocks for winter.

Prior to the ceasefire, many of the vital forces of the rebellion said their aim was the creation of a new state. They call it ‘Novorossia’, an historic term for the lands on the Black Sea coastline stretching from the present day Russian border westward to the city of Odessa (not including Crimea). CNN reporter Diana Magnay captured acutely the popular sentiment in the direct war zone when she spoke to victims of shelling in Donetsk on September 1. One city resident told her, “We are Ukrainians, but these people in Kyiv kill us. We are not brothers, so we probably need our own country.”

But the prospects for realizing that project are daunting. There is the military firepower of Kyiv to contend with, including its powerful, foreign backers. Political opinion among the varying populations of the region is not universal – only in Donetsk and Luhansk is there likely a majority support for secession. Even there, discontent with the political rule of the rebels has been considerable.

And contrary to the claims of Kyiv and NATO propagandists, Russia has never supported any version of a sovereign state in eastern and southern Ukraine. President Vladimir Putin expressly stated just weeks ago that a political settlement in southeast Ukraine should preserve the unitary state of Ukraine.

An entirely new element may come into the political picture as a result of Kyiv’s military defeat – a rise of opposition in western Ukraine to the austerity policies and ascendance of extreme, right-wing nationalism that propelled the war. Prospects for socially progressive alliances across the east-west divide would make a secession option less desirable or inevitable to the population in the east.

Russia’s Role and Interests

The dramatic change in the military balance created by the rebel offensive raises important questions about Russia’s exact role and designs.

Contrary, again, to the Kyiv and NATO propagandists, there is next to no evidence that the Russian army personnel played a direct role in the decisive rebel offensive. Rather, as openly acknowledged by rebel forces, rebel fighters received intense training during the past several months and there has been a significant influx of volunteer fighters from Russia.

Heavy weaponry obtained by rebels reportedly played a key role in the counter-attack, as did military protection of the border (thus facilitating the movement of rebels). Border protection is the source of NATO’s sharpest condemnation of Russia – it wants Russia to police and curb the autonomy movement, something akin to how Egypt collaborates with Israel and the U.S. in restricting the movement of people and goods to and from the Palestinian territory of Gaza. But Russia’s rulers have nothing to gain and much to lose in bowing to imperialism’s dictats. The Russian public strongly supports the rebel movement and expects their government to defend it.

Kyiv and NATO have repeatedly rejected Russia’s modest proposals to end the conflict, leaving no doubt that their goal is to crush the revolt. Such an outcome would leave Russia with even less leverage to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO. For Russia, Ukraine in NATO would be nothing short of catastrophic. Military aid to the resistance could forestall such an outcome.

The U.S. and Britain, in particular, left Russia with little to lose from a shift to increased support to the rebels. Regardless of the restraint that Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov voiced to rebel fighters, regardless of their statements that Russia had no territorial designs on southeast Ukraine and wanted the war settled, the Western press still demonised Russia and Western governments continued to ramp up sanctions. So Russia had little to lose from doing something that it was accused of doing anyway – covertly assisting rebel fighters to avert a harsh defeat.

An important consideration for Russia over what to do was the extreme vulnerability of Kyiv’s war effort. In July and August, Kyiv waged a relentless drive to cripple or destroy the rebellious southeast. Some territorial gains were made, but the large cities of Donetsk, Luhansk and Horlivka could not be taken. The army and its allied militias were poorly led and provisioned, and morale was sinking. By the middle of August, they were badly extended and highly vulnerable to counterattack.

Simultaneously, the economic situation in the country is rapidly deteriorating. A rebel counteroffensive could show the impossibility of a Ukrainian victory while encouraging domestic resistance to the anti-Russia, war course.

The fact that the ceasefire was signed before cities such as Mariupol and Slavyansk were retaken by rebel forces suggests the Russian government’s approach is to tip the military balance just enough that neither side achieves a decisive victory.

What Does the Future Hold?

The ceasefire agreement leaves a great many uncertainties over the future. But much has been learned throughout the region over the past six months and prospects are good for new forms of struggle for social justice and national self-determination to take hold across the east-west divide.

Antiwar protests, for example, have continued in Ukraine following the ceasefire announcement. The population of southeast Ukraine has already taken measures to curb the economic domination of the billionaires who own the large industries in the region. Considering the elite’s support to Kyiv’s war, anti-oligarch measures are likely to deepen. This will appeal to others in Ukraine as the austerity program of President Poroshenko and Prime Minister Yatsenyuk bites deeper. It will also be noticed in Russia, where the economic elite and its corrupt capitalism are not popular. (Coincidentally, the regional government in Crimea has recently seized and will put up for sale the assets of Ukraine’s most notorious, right-wing billionaire, Ihor Kolomoisky.)

Russia’s cautious role in events, including pressuring for an inconclusive ceasefire, will have many in eastern Ukraine casting a much more critical eye over its role and interests.

Above all, the hawkish threats of NATO and the global capitalist interests it represents are a powerful catalyst for all the people of eastern Europe and Russia to unite against the twin policies of austerity and war. That will be a positive outcome to an otherwise tragic, five months of war. A movement of international solidarity with Ukraine can play a key role in blocking a return to war and facilitating popular reconciliation and antifascist, social justice struggle. •

Roger Annis is a writer in Vancouver BC. He publishes a website featuring his writings and those of others at A Socialist in Canada.

Copyright, Truthout. Reprinted with permission.

 The original BBC Video Report was published by BBC Russian Service on July 23, 2014.

In a bitter irony, The BBC is censoring its own news productions. 

Why did BBC delete this report by Olga Ivshina?

Is it because the BBC team was unable to find any evidence that a rocket was launched in the area that the Ukrainian Security Service (“SBU”) alleges to be the place from which the Novorossiya Militia launched a “BUK” missile?

Or is it because every eyewitness interviewed by the BBC team specifically indicated the presence of a Ukrainian military aircraft right beside the Malaysian Airlines Boeing MH17 at the time that it was shot down?

Or is it because of eyewitness accounts confirming that the Ukrainian air force regularly used civilian aircraft flying over Novorossiya as human shields to protect its military aircraft conducting strikes against the civilian population from the Militia’s anti-aircraft units?

Highlights of Witness statements (see complete transcript below)

Eyewitness #1: There were two explosions in the air. And this is how it broke apart. And [the fragments] blew apart like this, to the sides. And when …

Eyewitness #2: … And there was another aircraft, a military one, beside it. Everybody saw it.

Eyewitness #1: Yes, yes. It was flying under it, because it could be seen. It was proceeding underneath, below the civilian one.

Eyewitness #3: There were sounds of an explosion. But they were in the sky. They came from the sky. Then this plane made a sharp turn-around like this. It changed its trajectory and headed in that direction [indicating the direction with her hands].

 

Video: The Catastrophe of #MH17: #BBC in the Search of the “#BUK”

Introductory Paragraphs to the BBC Video Report

by slavyangrad.wordpress.com

Intro of BBC Report (For Full Transcript see below)

The “black boxes” of the crashed Malaysian Boeing have finally been transferred into the hands of the experts. However, how much can they tell us?

The recorders logged the coordinates and the heading of the aircraft at the time of the incident and may have recorded the sound of the explosion. However, they will not tell us what exactly caused the explosion.

The inhabitants of the nearby villages are certain that they saw military aircraft in the sky shortly prior to the catastrophe. According to them, it actually was the jet fighters that brought down the Boeing.

The Ukrainian government rejects this version of events. They believe that the Boeing was shot down using a missile from a “BUK” complex that came in from Russia.

The Ukrainian Security Service has published photographs and a video, which, in its opinion, prove that the Boeing was shot down with a “BUK” missile.

BBC reporter Olga Ivshina and producer Oksana Vozhdayeva decided to find the place from which the missile was allegedly launched.


Original BBC Video Report: Preserved by Google Web-cache

Transcript of the BBC Video Report

DPR Representative: Here it is.

Olga Ivshina, BBC: The black boxes from the crashed Boeing are finally being transferred into the hands of the experts. However, how much can they tell us?

The recorders logged the coordinates and the heading of the aircraft at the time of the incident and may have recorded the sound of the explosion. However, they will not tell us what exactly caused the explosion.

The inhabitants of the nearby villages are certain that they saw military aircraft in the sky shortly prior to the catastrophe. According to them, it actually was the jet fighters that brought down the Boeing.

Eyewitness #1: There were two explosions in the air. And this is how it broke apart. And [the fragments] blew apart like this, to the sides. And when …

Eyewitness #2: … And there was another aircraft, a military one, beside it. Everybody saw it.

Eyewitness #1: Yes, yes. It was flying under it, because it could be seen. It was proceeding underneath, below the civilian one.

Eyewitness #3: There were sounds of an explosion. But they were in the sky. They came from the sky. Then this plane made a sharp turn-around like this. It changed its trajectory and headed in that direction [indicating the direction with her hands].

Olga Ivshina, BBC: The Ukrainian government rejects this version of events. They believe that the Boeing was shot down using a missile from a “BUK” complex that came in from the direction of Russia.

Vitaliy Naida, Department of Counterintelligence of SBU [Ukrainian Security Service]: This was a BUK M1 system from which the aircraft was shot down. It came to Ukraine early in the morning on the 17th of July. It was delivered by a tow truck to the city of Donetsk. After that, it was redeployed from Donetsk, as part of a column of military equipment, to the area of the city of Torez, to the area of Snezhnoye, to the area of Pervomaisk.

Olga Ivshina, BBC: The Ukrainian Security Service has published photographs and a video, which, in its opinion, prove that the Boeing was shot down with a “BUK” missile. We attempted to verify these photographs and information at the location.

One of the photographs showed a landscape not far from the city of Torez, on which smoke could be seen coming from the presumed location of the missile’s launch. We attempted to find this location, and it appears that we were successful.

We are now on the outskirts of the city of Torez. Behind me, approximately five kilometres away, is the city of Snezhnoye. And the landscape here matches the landscape that we can see on the photograph published by the Ukrainian Security Service.

To find the place from which the smoke was allegedly coming from, we adopted as markers these three poplars and the group of trees. Presumably, this is the place that can be seen on the photograph published by the SBU. And here are our markers: the three solitary poplars and the small group of trees in the distance.

The smoke that can be seen on the photograph came from somewhere over there [pointing behind her], behind my back. The SBU believes that this is a trace coming from the launch of a “BUK” missile.

However, it must be noted that there are here, approximately in the same place, the Saur-Mogila memorial, near which the fighting continues almost unabated, and a coalmine. It turns out that the smoke with the same degree of probability could have been coming from any of these locations.

Having circled around the nearby fields, we were unable to find any traces of a missile launch. Nor did the local inhabitants that we encountered see any “BUK” either.

At the ruins of an apartment building in the city of Snezhnoye, the topic of the jet fighters that may have been escorting civilian aircraft comes up again. A bomb dropped from above took away the lives of eleven civilians here.

Sergey Godovanets, Commander of the Militia of the city of Snezhnoye: They use these civilian aircraft to hide behind them. It is only now that they stopped flying over us – but, usually, civilian aircraft would always fly above us. And they hide [behind them]. [The experience in] Slavyansk had demonstrated that they would fly out from behind a civilian aircraft, bomb away, and then hide, once again, behind the civilian aircraft and fly away.

Olga Ivshina, BBC: The commander of the local militia emphasizes that they have no weaponry capable of shooting down a jet fighter [flying] at a significant height. However, he says that if such weaponry were to appear, they would have tried to.

Sergey Godovanets: If we know that it is not a civilian aircraft, but a military one, then – yes.

Olga Ivshina, BBC: So, could the Boeing have been shot down by the militias that had mistaken it for a military aircraft? There is as yet no unequivocal confirmation of either this or any other version [of what took place]. The international experts are just beginning their work with the information obtained from the crashed airliner. It now appears that it is difficult to overstate the importance of this investigation. Olga Ivshina, BBC.

Below is the BBC Russian Services video posted by an Alternative media site


The Catastrophe of #MH17:

#BBC in the Search of the “BUK” – The Video Report Deleted by BBC

Translation by: Valentina Lisitsa
http://slavyangrad.wordpress.com

Obama’s ‘Pivot to Asia’ in response to the resurgence of Chinese power has undergone significant developments since it was first announced in November 2011. Not least has been the emergence of Australia as a central part of Washington’s plans to strengthen American influence and military reach across the Asia-Pacific. While elite and popular support for the US alliance in Australia persists, public opinion polls indicate possible cleavages for challenging the status quo.

Developments in Obama’s ‘Pivot to Asia’

Addressing the Australian Parliament in Canberra on 17 November 2011, President Obama officially announced that after a decade of costly war in the Middle East the US was now turning its attention to the Asia-Pacific.2 A month prior to Obama’s address, then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton dubbed the new focus a ‘pivot’ in an article for Foreign Policy,3 the term since persisting despite the best efforts of the Obama administration to replace it with the more innocuous term ‘rebalance’.

The central military components of the Pivot include a shift in US military assets to the region, the extension of US defence ties, an increase in US defence exports and foreign military training programs, more frequent US warship visits and the expansion of joint military exercises.4

Although the Pivot constitutes ‘a comprehensive plan to step up US engagement, influence and impact on economic, diplomatic, ideological and strategic affairs in the region’,5 it remains to be seen whether the Obama administration has the strategic vision or the resources to sustain the Pivot in the long-term. Recent events in the Middle East and Ukraine continue to preoccupy US planners and a number of observers have questioned the viability of the Pivot in an era of fiscal constraint.6

US Navy’s projected force in FY2015 and FY2020. Source: Admiral Jonathan Greenert, 2014 Report to the Senate Armed Services Committee

 

At the centre of the Pivot is the decision to increase the presence of the US Navy’s fleet in the Asia-Pacific from 50 to 60 per cent by 2020. Today, 104 of the US Navy’s 290 ships are deployed around the world, 50 of them in the Asia-Pacific. The Pivot will see the number of ships deployed in the region in 2020 increase to approximately 67, notably including a majority of US aircraft carriers, but also its cruisers, destroyers, submarines and Littoral Combat Ships (LCSs) designed specifically for operations close to shore.7 Plans to forward station up to four LCSs in Singapore on rotation in 2017 were announced in June 2012. The first LCS was deployed to Singapore’s Changi naval base for 10 months in 2013 and the second will deploy for 16 months later this year.

The Pivot includes plans to forward-deploy a United States Marine Air‐Ground Task Force (MAGTF) in Darwin. Beginning in April 2012 with 200 Marines, the US Marine Rotational Force – Darwin (MRTF-D) is being implemented in four incremental phases until fully deployed in 2016. As of March 2014 1150 Marines, or a battalion-sized unit, had been deployed. The full MAGTF is to consist of 2,500 Marines including command, ground combat and air combat elements available for rapid deployment for expeditionary combat.

The preliminary estimated cost of the MAGTF is $1.6 billion.8 A recent defence agreement struck between Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and US President Obama is reported to see Australia pay for most of the cost of the Marine rotations through Darwin and paves the way for the arrival of more US military assets.9

Like the US Navy, the US Air Force has announced plans to allocate 60 per cent of its overseas based forces to the Asia-Pacific region including those in the cyber and space domains. In June 2013, US Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel announced that:

In addition to our decision to forward base 60 per cent of our naval assets in the Pacific by 2020, the US Air Force has allocated 60 per cent of its overseas-based forces to the Asia-Pacific – including tactical aircraft and bomber forces from the continental United States.  The Air Force is focusing a similar percentage of its space and cyber capabilities on the region. 10

A month later, Chief of US Air Force Operations in the Pacific, General Herbert ‘Hawk’ Carlisle, revealed that along with the announced 2,500 Marines to be deployed to Australia by 2016, the US Air Force would dispatch ‘fighters, tankers, and at some point in the future, maybe bombers on a rotational basis’. US jets are also to be sent to Changi East air base in Singapore, Korat air base in Thailand, Trivandrum in India, and possibly bases at Kubi Point and Puerto Princesa in the Philippines and airfields in Indonesia and Malaysia.11

During Obama’s four-country Asian tour in April 2014, a 10 year ‘pact’ with the Philippines was signed providing for the rotation of an unspecified number of US forces at selected military camps and the prepositioning of US fighter jets and ships. The deal, coming in the wake of Philippines-China clashes over the Scarborough Shoals and sparking anti-US protests, represents ‘the most significant defence agreement signed with the Philippines in decades’, according to the US National Security Council’s senior director for Asian affairs. As part of the agreement, US forces may return to the Subic Bay naval base where they were forced to leave in 1992, ending a vast American military presence that began with the capture of the Islands from Spain in 1898.12

Geographical location of Jeju Island, South Korea. Source: Bruce Gagnon, GlobalResearch.ca

 

The Pivot is being undertaken amidst the establishment and upgrade of major bases in the region. Of particular significance is the new naval base being built on Jeju Island in South Korea, less than 500 kilometres from the Chinese mainland, with the anticipation that it will be utilised for both South Korean and American naval forces. It will host up to 20 warships, including three Aegis destroyers and an aircraft carrier, and will provide a long-range ballistic missile capability for targeting southeast China.13

Meanwhile, the US strategic naval and marine base on the Pacific island of Guam is being upgraded. A new Marine Corps base is being established at an officially estimated cost of $US8.6 billion, although the final cost is likely to involve billions more, with Japan picking up a significant portion of the cost. 5,000 US Marines and their dependents will relocate to the new base from Okinawa.14

Obama’s Pivot to Asia is taking place in the context of increasing militarisation in the Asia-Pacific at a time when regional tensions have risen to levels unseen for decades.

Arms imports in East Asia surged nearly 25 per cent last year, from $9.8 billion in 2012 to $12.2 billion in 2013. Leading the way is China, having overtaken South Korea as the region’s largest arms importer despite its burgeoning domestic arms industry.15 Steadily increasing its military spending since the mid-1990s, China has recently clashed with a number of its neighbours including Japan, the Philippines and Vietnam, as well as with the pre-eminent power in the region, the United States.

Japan has also stepped up its military engagement in the region under the leadership of Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, sending patrol boats to Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia, significantly increasing its military spending, easing restrictions on arms exports, and deepening its strategic partnership with Australia, India and others. In the most dramatic policy shift away from its post-war pacifism, Abe successfully circumnavigated Japan’s constitutional ban on exercising ‘collective self-defence’, paving the way to fight shoulder-to-shoulder with its principal ally, the United States.16

Official pretexts and imaginary threats

Officially, the Pivot is about countering threats to security and stability in the Asia-Pacific. According to former US defence secretary Leon Panetta, the Pivot is about dealing with the challenges of ‘humanitarian assistance’, ‘weapons of mass destruction’, ‘narco-trafficking’ and ‘piracy’. Such claims, however, do not stand up to basic scrutiny. As the director of foreign policy studies at the right-wing CATO institute, Justin Logan, points out:

Dealing with humanitarian assistance and needs, stifling nuclear proliferation, suppressing narco-traffickers, and dispatching pirates do not require more than half the US Navy. If China made this sort of argument to defend deploying more than half its naval assets to the Western hemisphere, American leaders would not give the argument a moment’s consideration.17

Australian officials also stress that a key focus of the US military build-up is to have the necessary resources ready to provide humanitarian aid for natural disasters. Yet as The Australian’s defence editor wryly notes, ‘it is not clear what roles aircraft carriers and nuclear-powered submarines would play in humanitarian missions’, the deployment of which has been canvassed by top US defence officials.19

Top 15 Defence Budgets 2013 $USbn. Source: International Institute for Strategic Studies

 

The most important, albeit officially unacknowledged, justification for the Pivot is to hedge against a potentially hostile and rising China. Although signifying a significant regional shift in geopolitical power, the rise of China poses little threat to US national security. This fundamental strategic reality is underpinned by the vast military gap between China and the US. In 2013, the US officially spent $600 billion on defence, almost as much as the next 14 countries combined and over five times as much as China.20 Moreover, US strength is complemented by allies who surround China—Japan, South Korea and Taiwan—and a global network of military bases.

A crucial part of the military gap is America’s far superior nuclear war-fighting capacity. A report coproduced by the Federation of American Scientists concludes:

Our principal finding is that the Chinese-US nuclear relationship is dramatically disproportionate in favour of the United States and will remain so for the foreseeable future. Although the United States has maintained extensive nuclear strike plans against Chinese targets for more than half a century, China has never responded by building large nuclear forces of its own and is unlikely to do so in the future. As a result, Chinese nuclear weapons are quantitatively and qualitatively much inferior to their US counterparts.21

While China is currently modernising its nuclear forces, the US spends more on its nuclear arsenal than the rest of the world combined and, according to one recent conservative estimate, is on course to spend approximately US$1 trillion over the next 30 years maintaining its existing nuclear arsenal and procuring a new generation of nuclear weapons and delivery systems.22

It is also pertinent that China requires substantial military resources to be employed for internal security and to protect against bordering rival powers. The US, on the other hand, with weak neighbours and vast ocean barriers, is able to focus outwards, possessing and exercising overwhelming force projection capabilities. America maintains over 1000 foreign military facilities (China has none), has elite forces deployed to 134 countries, and annually conducts 170 military exercises and 250 port visits in the Asia-Pacific region alone.23

US and China military spending, 1998-2009 (current $, millions). Source: Michael Beckley (2001/12), ‘China’s Century?’ p. 74.

 

The fact that China’s GDP is on track to overtake the US in the next few decades is frequently offered as evidence of American decline. Yet the geopolitical implications of China’s growing economic power should not be exaggerated. Even if China were to surmount the serious economic, demographic, environmental, political and international challenges it now faces and continue high-speed growth, economic size does not inevitably correlate with military or geopolitical power.

As international security expert Michael Beckley points out, it is not the absolute size but the superior level of economic development and ‘surplus wealth’, reflected in wealth per capita, that is most significant for assessing national power.24 By this and other measures, despite China’s spectacular growth, the US has actually increased its lead over China in the last two decades by amounts that exceed China’s total capabilities. As the data show:

From 1991 to 2010, the gap in defence spending (excluding US spending in Iraq and Afghanistan) increased by $147 billion, which is $26 billion more than China’s entire 2010 military budget; the gap in per capita incomes in real terms widened by $19,000, which is 4.5 times the average Chinese income; the gap in high-technology output grew by $2.8 trillion, roughly double China’s total high-tech output; and the gap in gross domestic product in real terms expanded by $3.1 trillion, equivalent to half of China’s total GDP.25

Of course economic trends can change. Yet the most significant factor in future economic growth is innovation or intellectual power and, on this count, the US far outstrips China, including the quality (not quantity) of scientists and engineers, the number of leading universities, corporate investment in R&D and patents in new and emerging technologies.26 It is worth noting, too, that prior to the global financial crisis that began in 2007, ‘China was still catching up technologically to Korea and Taiwan, let alone the US’.27

What state-centric perspectives mistake for the global shift in power to China derived from the rapid growth of the Chinese national economy must be understood in no small part as a transnational phenomenon reflecting the rising power of the multinational corporation (MNC) in a global system in which American firms retain predominance.

China’s deepening integration into this US-led global economy is reflected in the massive inflows of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) – growing from $1 billion to $72 billion annually between 1985 and 2005 or more than $600 billion in total – and its place as the preferred destination for outsourcing and contracting by MNCs. Indeed, much of the wealth generated by China’s productive capacity is captured by foreign corporations. For example, about two-thirds of China’s growth in exports between 1994 and mid-2003 is attributable to Chinese subsidiaries of MNCs or joint ventures with businesses from the industrialised world.28

US and China per capita income, 1991-2010 ($ in current prices). Source: Michael Beckley (2011/12), ‘China’s Century?’, p. 59.

 

Integrated into global production networks, the Chinese export economy effectively serves as East Asia’s workshop where capital goods and components, predominantly from the US, Japan, and South Korea, are sent for final assembly and export, often after a process of sub-assembly in Southeast Asia. By penetrating and dominating China’s advanced industrial sectors and maintaining control over technology, services, branding and marketing, US, Japanese and European MNCs realise most of the value-added in the process.

Even as America’s manufacturing base has moved abroad and China has grown spectacularly to emerge as a manufacturing powerhouse, whose cities, highways, and railroads have all grown explosively, the US continues to dominate the strategic sectors of the global economy such that, as of 2007:

the top three or four global firms in such diverse sectors as technological hardware and equipment, software and computers, aerospace/military, and oil equipment and services were American, as were fourteen of the sixteen top global firms in healthcare equipment and services. In global media, four of the top five corporations were American, as were two of the top three in each of the pharmaceuticals, industrial transportation, industrial equipment, and fixed-line telecommunications sectors. And five of the top six corporations in the general retail sector were American… To top it all off, nine of the top ten corporations in global financial services were American…29

American dominance versus Chinese survival

The China threat thesis obscures ‘the dirty little secret of US defence politics [which] is that the United States is safe – probably the most secure great power in modern history.’30 Beijing, on the other hand, has a serious weakness along its maritime approaches. ‘Chinese strategists are acutely aware’, writes Brigadier General John Frewen of the Australian Army, ‘that they could do little in response if the United States chose tomorrow to constrict China’s maritime access to oil, minerals, and markets.’31

As China’s economy has grown over recent decades it has begun to attempt to redress its historic vulnerability to military intervention from the sea by developing a high-tech ‘Anti Access-Area Denial’ (A2/AD) capacity – or ‘counter-intervention’ as Chinese strategists prefer to call it – in order to keep the military forces of the United States and other potentially hostile powers at bay.

Shipping routes to China that would be subject to a US-led blockade as part of AirSea Battle. Source: Centre for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA).

 

In response, America’s new military strategy developed to accompany the Pivot to Asia – dubbed ‘AirSea Battle’ – is designed to prevent China from developing the capacity to defend itself against an attack from its air and maritime approaches. The strategy ‘relies on credibly threatening to strike critical military targets deep within Chinese territory from afar and on defeating PLA [People’s Liberation Army] air and sea forces in a sustained conventional campaign’. It also proposes the US and its allies, particularly Japan and Australia, ‘impose a distant blockade on China in the event of war.’32

Washington’s objective is to maintain its sphere of influence in the West Pacific, while for Beijing, continued US dominance ‘presents an existential threat’. Ultimately, writes Justin Kelly in the Australian Army Journal, ‘China is playing for higher stakes’.33

Evidence that the Pentagon is taking the potential ‘threat’ from China seriously can be found in both the 2014 Quadrennial Defence Review (QDR), which expressed deep concern about China’s rising A2/AD capability, and the FY2015 budget, where significant additional funds have been requested for countering such capabilities.34

Incidentally, in certain ways, China’s defence strategy mimics Australia’s own. The latest Defence White Paper (2013) reiterates this long-held defence priority for Australia: ‘Controlling the sea and air approaches to our continent is the key to defending Australia, in order to deny them to an adversary and provide the maximum freedom of action for our forces.’35 Recognising the similarities, Andrew Davies and Mark Thompson of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute write that China’s strategy to protect its air and maritime approaches is ‘as fundamental to China’s self-defence as it is to ours…’. ‘In contrast’, they add, ‘US interests in the region are neither immutable nor fundamental to US security.’36

‘Internationalising’ the East and South China Sea disputes

Granted that US hegemony rather than US security is at stake, Obama’s Pivot to Asia may still arguably be justified as necessary to resolve the ongoing disputes in the East and South China Seas where Beijing is depicted as the principal antagonist requiring a US response to restore balance and stability. The reality is more complex, and American claims are unpersuasive.

Since 2010, territorial disputes in the South China Sea have seen increased tensions between China and its Southeast Asian neighbours. Nationalism, potentially vast oil and gas resources and fish stocks, the strategic importance of major sea lines of communication, and the territorial implications of the 1982 UNCLOS agreement combine to drive the disagreements.

China’s military assertiveness is particularly worrisome for the prospects of a just and peaceful resolution to the conflicts in the East China and South China Seas. There are, however, no innocent parties in the disputes. All claimant states in the multiple disputes (China, Japan, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines and Brunei) have been provocative at one time or another while territorial claims by the Philippines (pre-2009) and Malaysia are as spurious and weak as China’s.37

The common refrain is that US military domination over these waters is necessary to maintain peace, uphold international law and protect freedom of navigation in the event that a hostile China disrupts or blocks regional and international trade.38 The unstated flipside of this equation is that America’s foot remains on China’s throat, able at any time to choke off the resources and products necessary for Chinese industry and ultimately the PRC’s (People’s Republic of China) survival. Although there is a mutually beneficial economic relationship between the two countries, should conflict develop US war plans involve contingencies for blockading China.

It is highly unlikely that in the absence of US protection China would attempt to shut down the free flow of trade in the South China Sea, an act that would irreparably damage Beijing’s interests. It is military, not commercial freedom, that’s at stake. As Ralf Emmers explains:

…in the context of the South China Sea the freedom of navigation principle is mostly associated with the freedoms of navigation and flight of military ships and aircraft, as no restriction to commercial shipping is feared in the disputed waters. Due to its economic interests the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is not expected to interrupt the shipping lanes that cross the South China Sea.39

In other words, as former Australian foreign minister Gareth Evans makes clear, America’s primary motivation is not to protect freedom of navigation which it regularly ‘talks up’, but rather ‘its overwhelming preoccupation… with the right to engage in military surveillance unhindered, as close inshore as it can’ to China.40 It is this ‘overwhelming preoccupation’ that has led to a number of clashes between the US and Chinese aircraft and naval vessels in the South China Sea since 2001.41

According to South China Sea specialist Leszek Buszynski, if the disputes between China and its neighbours were simply about competing claims to energy resources and fisheries, a peaceful resolution that satisfied all of the parties might have been possible. However, in the context of strategic rivalry with the United States, the prospect of a more conciliatory China is now far less likely. China’s desire to counter US regional dominance and US insistence on retaining that dominance has transformed the disputes in the South China Sea into a competition between major powers.42

Much the same is true in the East China Sea where China and Japan are embroiled in territorial disputes over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands.

China, Korea and Western Pacific EEZs. Source: The Asia Pacific Journal

 

As in the South China Sea, nationalism and energy reserves are powerful factors in the disputes, as are wider strategic concerns. Gavan McCormack has pointed out that the core territorial issue is a product of the inequities inherent in UNCLOS.43 Responsible for apportioning much of the ‘high seas’ in the form of EEZs, UNCLOS especially privileged the former European and American colonial powers who possess far flung islands, as well as Japan, with control over vast sea areas leaving China a minor player in its claims on the world’s oceans. Although its coastline is slightly longer than Japan’s, China’s maritime reach, as determined by its EEZ, is less than one fifth the size of Japan’s.

Thus, from the Chinese point of view, the appropriation of much of the maritime space across the Pacific from hostile or potentially hostile forces threatens its access to the Pacific. As Japan attempts to extend its already generous maritime claims, especially given its position as a client state of the US, Beijing’s claims to the Senkaku/Diaoyu take on exceptional importance.

While the US insists that it takes no position on who has rightful sovereignty over the islands, it has repeatedly declared its commitment to enforce Japan’s claims to possession in the event of a Chinese military challenge. In his most recent tour of Asia in April 2014, President Obama became the first sitting US president to declare the islands to be part of the defence alliance between Washington and Tokyo.44

Keeping Asia divided and dependent

Although the rise of China has added new impetus to calls for the United States to sustain its military engagement in the region, US regional hegemony has long been justified as necessary to keep the peace in Asia. The conventional wisdom amongst strategic studies experts is that US geopolitical primacy serves to maintain the ‘balance’ in East Asia by capping Japanese militarism, balancing Chinese power and deterring North Korea. It’s a particular favourite in realist international relations and strategic studies accounts of Asia-Pacific regional affairs to equate stability and the ‘balance of power’ with the prevailing distribution of power or the status quo; an interpretation that conveniently translates into support for US hegemony.45

In reality, there are strategic reasons why US hegemony is incompatible with the emergence of a peaceful and stable Asia. As Mark Beeson explains, American strategic involvement in the region ‘is expressly designed to keep East Asia divided and its security orientation firmly oriented towards Washington.’ Quoting international relations expert, Michal Mastanduno, Beeson elaborates on the reasons why keeping the region divided has been a key element of America’s overall grand strategy:

since the United States does not want to encourage a balancing coalition against its dominant position, it is not clear that it has a strategic interest in the full resolution of differences between, say, Japan and China or Russia and China. Some level of tension among these states reinforces their individual need for a special relationship with the United States’.46

America’s asymmetric, bi-lateral hub-and-spokes system of alliances in Asia was established precisely to prevent regional integration and independence. This geostrategy was perhaps best summed up by former US national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski who articulated it as the need ‘to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals, to keep tributaries pliant and protected, and to keep the barbarians from coming together.’47

Obama’s Pivot to Asia extends this strategy. By reasserting its military presence and strengthening its alliance relationships in Asia, the US aims to not only to constrain the rise of China but also thwart any accommodation with Beijing that could lead to the emergence of a regional grouping independent of US leadership.48

A most special relationship for the 21st century

US President Obama addresses the Australian Parliament in Canberra, Australia, 17 November 2011. Source: The Washington Post.

 

Speaking on Australian soil to Parliament House, Obama’s official announcement of the Pivot to Asia was widely considered to be confirmation of an Australian commitment to firmly attach itself to America’s quest to contain China’s rise.

Andrew Davies and Benjamin Schreer from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, a government-funded security think-tank with close ties to defence policy makers, wrote at the time that ‘the presence of US forces is about much more than just their physical presence. It is about declaring our strategic intent in the burgeoning Sino-US competition in the Asia-Pacific.’49 Then Australian Defence Minister Stephen Smith proclaimed that Australia had become a geopolitical anchor for US defence policy in the Asia-Pacific and the ‘southern-tier’ of US strategy in the region.50

In truth, Australia’s commitment to participate in supporting US regional strategic objectives had already been affirmed one year earlier on the 25th anniversary of the Australia-US Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN) in November 2010. The US and Australia then announced a major expansion of military cooperation including more military exercises, more visits by American ships and aircraft, greater US access to Australian defence facilities and the pre-positioning of combat equipment and supplies.51

Crucially, it was also announced that Australia was extending its participation in the US global Space Surveillance Network by agreeing to station a powerful space surveillance sensor in Western Australia. Apart from detecting space debris, the network’s most important function is for US offensive and defensive space combat. The announcement was a clear indication of Australia’s support for America’s quest for military dominance in space.52

Since AUSMIN 2010 and Obama’s announcement of US troop deployments to Darwin in 2011, a number of developments demonstrated Australia’s increasingly important role in America’s strategy for projecting power and maintaining regional hegemony.

A typical Amphibious Readiness Group (ARG) of the sought the US plans to station near Australia. Source: The Australian.

 

In August 2012, a report commissioned by the US Department of Defence (DOD) to review the current US military force posture and deployment plans explored the possibility of basing a US Carrier Strike Group (CSG) to HMAS Stirling in Perth and Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft in the Cocos Islands.53  Although then Defence Minister Stephen Smith denied there were any plans for home-porting US forces in Perth, the proposal represented a ‘change in gear’ in the Washington policy debate about deployments to Australia.54 Smith later confirmed that a jointly run military air base on the Cocos Islands, including for unmanned drone flights, was a long-term option under discussion,55 a plan also endorsed by the then Liberal Party opposition.56

In a move to deepen the strategic dimension of the MAGTF in Darwin, the US revealed plans in August 2013 to establish a fifth new Amphibious Readiness Group (ARG) in the Pacific by 2018. While unlikely to be based in Darwin, the new naval group would probably be forward stationed there in order to provide the US MAGTF with ‘amphibious lift’ or the capacity to rapidly deploy and project power around the maritime crossroads of the Malacca Straits, Southeast Asia and the eastern Indian Ocean. The US may deploy LCSs as part of the ARG.57

A major insight into how the US envisioned the future of the Australia-US alliance was provided in November 2013 with the publication of Gateway to the Indo-Pacific: Australian Defence Strategy and the Future of the Australia-US Alliance, prepared by a US think-tank and provided to US national security officials to inform and debate how best to carry out America’s Pivot to the region.58

Much of the report is dedicated to gauging Australia’s capacity to assist the US in a war with China and the capabilities and upgrades required to meet this demand. Australian air and naval bases, beyond Chinese missile range, are identified as geographic ‘sweet spots’ ideal for basing US forces. Recognising the recent shift in global power to the ‘Indo-Pacific’ region, the report identifies Australia as having ‘moved from “down under” to “top centre” in terms of geopolitical import.’ Like the UK during the 20th century, ‘America’s strong ties with Australia provide it with the means to preserve US influence and military reach across the Indo-Pacific’. In short, Australia is ‘increasingly viewed by policy-makers in Washington as a vital “bridging power” power in Asia’. Perhaps indulging in hyperbole, the report predicts, ‘the US Australia relationship may well prove to be the most special relationship of the 21st century.’59

Places are bases

Australian and US government officials continue to insist that the 2,500-strong MAGTF in Darwin is not a new US basing arrangement but rather a ‘rotation’ of forces consistent with the Pentagon’s strategy of seeking ‘places not bases’. However, the difference between rotational and non-rotational forces is in the eye of the beholder. As US Admiral Jonathan Greenert, US Navy Chief of Operations, explains:

Rotational forces deploy to overseas theatres from homeports in the United States for finite periods, while non-rotational forces are sustained in theatre continuously. Non-rotational forces can be forward based, as in Spain and Japan, where ships are permanently based overseas and their crews and their families reside in the host country. Forward stationed ships operate continuously from overseas ports but are manned by crews that deploy rotationally from the United States, as is the case with the LCS deployed to Singapore, with four ships in place by 2017. Forward operating ships, by contrast, operate continuously in forward theatres from multiple ports and are manned by civilian mariners and small detachments of military personnel who rotate on and off the ships.60

While logistical, financial and political factors distinguish these options, in practice, there is little strategic difference between permanently rotating forces and a traditional base. The Darwin MAGTF is just as much part of US force projection capabilities as are other foreign-based forces. As Admiral Samuel J. Locklear, Commander of US Pacific Command, explains:

USPACOM [US Pacific Command] joint forces are like an ‘arrow’. Our forward stationed and consistently rotational forces – the point of the ‘arrow’ – represent our credible deterrence and the ‘fight tonight’ force necessary for immediate crisis and contingency response. Follow-on-forces from the continental US required for sustained operations form the ‘shaft of the arrow’. Underpinning these forces are critical platform investments and the research and development needed to ensure our continued dominance.61

The utilisation of relatively smaller and more flexible ‘forward operating bases’ or ‘lily pads’—in conjunction with the global deployment of drones — is now the Pentagon’s preferred strategy for projecting power across the globe. The US Department of Defence January 2012 strategic guidance noted that the United States seeks to ‘develop innovative, low-cost and small-footprint approaches to achieve our security objectives, relying on exercises, rotational presence, and advisory capabilities.’62

According to the foremost independent expert on the lily-pad strategy, David Vine, Obama’s Asia Pivot ‘signals that East Asia will be at the centre of the explosion of lily-pad bases and related developments’. Vine provides insight into the breathtaking scope of this strategy to which Australia has acquiesced:

[US] military planners see a future of endless small-scale interventions in which a large, geographically dispersed collection of bases will always be primed for instant operational access… In other words, Pentagon officials dream of nearly limitless flexibility, the ability to react with remarkable rapidity to developments anywhere on Earth, and thus, something approaching total military control over the planet.63

Map of main Australia-US ‘joint facilities’ and ADF bases. Source: Richard Tanter (2012), ‘The “Joint Facilities” Revisited’, p.15.

 

The MAGTF in Darwin is one addition to an existing network of US bases across Australia that have existed for decades. Although successive Australian governments have continually insisted that Australia hosts no US bases, only ‘joint-facilities’, the level of cooperation is in fact ‘fundamentally and inherently asymmetrical’, according to one of Australia’s foremost experts on the bases, Richard Tanter. While there are varying degrees of ‘jointness’ involved in the US military and intelligence presence across Australia, certainly the Joint Defence Facility Pine Gap outside Alice Springs and the Naval Communication Station Harold E Holt (North West Cape) are primarily US bases with a limited Australian role.64

The significance of specific bases is perhaps less important than the overall increase in military and intelligence cooperation over the last decade, including the announcement of new ‘joint facilities’ or increased US access to existing facilities in Australia. Along with the deepening integration of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) with US armed forces and policy changes undertaken at the strategic level, the result, according to Tanter, ‘may well be, from a Chinese perspective, that Australia is not so much hosting US military bases, but is becoming a virtual American base in its own right.’65

Australia risks martyrdom

The disclosures by National Security Agency (NSA) whistle blower Edward Snowden cast new light on Australia’s deep integration with US global and regional military strategy. In addition to revelations about Australia’s vast intelligence gathering responsibilities to intercept phone calls and data across Asia as part of the US-led global spying network,66 also revealed was the extent of Australia’s direct participation in US global military operations through the Pine Gap defence facility, run by the NSA and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) along with the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD).

The facility has played a major role in illegal US drone strike assassinations in Afghanistan and Iraq by tracking the precise geo-location of suspects to be targeted and passing on that intelligence to the US military. The facility has become so important to the American military over the last ten years, and especially the last three years, that according to one Australian intelligence official the ‘US will never fight another war in the eastern hemisphere without the direct involvement of Pine Gap’.67

Joint Defence Facility Pine Gap. Source: Wikipedia

 

The joint Australian-American facilities have long been integral to any potential American operations in the Asia-Pacific and have therefore presented themselves as targets to an adversary of the US for quite some time.68 Morever, as Davies and Schreer of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute make clear, an enhanced American naval presence in Australia as part of Obama’s Pivot strategy raises the distinct possibility of directly implicating Australia in a US blockade of China:

[US] Naval assets based in Australia, especially in the north of the continent, would be proximate to shipping lanes through the Indonesian archipelago and in the Southwest Pacific, which is particularly attractive should the US choose to impose a distant blockade against China in the Malacca or the Lombok straits…69

Gateway to the Indo-Pacific provides further details on how Australia might participate in a US-led blockade of China. In the event of a contest for control over the Indonesia straits, the report raises the possibility of the ADF exerting ‘chokepoint control’ by maintaining constant surveillance of aircraft and ships; intercepting Chinese surface ships and submarines threatening allied blockading efforts with the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) own submarines or long-range aircraft; escorting friendly ships through maritime chokepoints and, if Indonesia acquiesced, deploy ground forces equipped with anti-ship and anti-air missiles up and down the continental edges of the Indonesia archipelago to add mobile and rapidly deployable coastal firepower.70

In another scenario envisioned by the report, a ‘division of labour’ would exist between the US and Australia whereby US forces would deploy in the heart of the Western Pacific while Australia would ‘backfill US forces in the Southwest Pacific and coordinate a distant blockade in concert with regional allies and partners, using its air and naval forces to restrict commercial shipping bound for China’.71

If the likelihood of a major power conflict materialising presently seems small, it remains a distinct possibility, and the reality is that Canberra appears to be contemplating and even preparing for such a scenario. An allegedly secret chapter in the Rudd government’s 2009 defence white paper detailed plans to fight China by using the Australian Navy’s submarines to help blockade key trade routes, raising the prospect of China firing missiles at targets in Australia in retaliation.72

Even in the absence of a secret chapter, the 2009 white paper was extremely aggressive regarding the rise of China. While the language of the 2013 white paper was more conciliatory in tone and approach, numerous strategic commentators pointed out that very little had in fact changed in substance from the strategic assessment of the previous white paper, with China’s growing military power implicitly identified as a major concern.73

Unsurprisingly, both the 2009 white paper and the US troop deployment to Darwin evoked a furious response from China. Sending a message to Australia through the People’s Daily, China warned that the basing of US forces in Darwin was an ‘unfriendly move’ and that in any conflict between the two superpowers ‘Australia itself will be caught in the crossfire’.74 A scholar with China’s People’s Liberation Army also slammed Australia for being used as a ‘pawn’ by the US government to contain China.75 One of Australia’s most senior military officers had already warned that Australia runs the risk of ‘martyrdom’ in the event of a China-US conflict.76

Challenging the Australian-American alliance

In Australia the Pivot to Asia has evoked a number of critical responses from leading national figures. Most radical have been the proposals from former Australian Deputy Secretary in the Department of Defence, Hugh White, and former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser. Over the past decade, White has repeatedly warned about the risks of continuing the regional status quo, arguing that it is in Australia’s best interests for the US to relinquish geopolitical primacy in the region and for Canberra to encourage Washington to do so.77

Fraser went further. He is the first current or former government leader to suggest Australia break its alliance with the United States. In a recently released book, Dangerous Allies, he urges Canberra to demand that the US MAGTF in Darwin leave within a year and the Pine Gap defence facility be closed down within four to five years amongst other measures designed to disentangle Australia from US strategic dependence.78

Despite the critiques of a few prominent figures, the political, media and academic elite has overwhelmingly supported increased Australia-US ties and either ignored or denounced any challenge to the status quo. Fraser’s proposal for ending the US alliance has provoked remarkably little attention79 while White’s thesis has been firmly rejected by Australia’s current political leaders,83 a number of key business leaders have publicly aired concerns with the growing US-Australia strategic relationship.

Obama speaking at a parliamentary dinner at Parliament House in Canberra. The Australian business community was notably absent. Source: Washington Post.

 

Eccentric and blunt-talking Australian mining magnate, Clive Palmer, publicly condemned the decision to base US forces in Darwin as a ‘poke in the eye’ to China.84 More telling, the heads of mining giant BHP Billiton, the big four banks and the airlines all failed to attend President Obama’s 2011 parliamentary speech in Canberra and later a state dinner held in his honour. Their absence, reported the Australian Financial Review, ‘was a stark demonstration of where the priorities of Australian business leaders lie’, particularly when contrasted with a visit by the Chinese Vice-President the year before ‘who brought the business community out in force’. While most corporate heads justified their absence due to busy schedules, managing director of BC Iron, Mike Young, made explicit the reason why: ‘Corporate Australia recognises our economy is fundamentally tied to China, not America’.85

The split between the state and some parts of the corporate sector were made abundantly clear a year later when the soon to be head of the Australian Defence Department, Dennis Richardson, sternly rebuffed comments by two of Australia’s most powerful businessmen, Kerry Stokes and James Packer. The two billionaires with large Chinese business interests had each criticised the government’s China policy and security arrangements with the US. Stokes in particular, it was reported, ‘was physically repulsed by the presence of US troops on Australian soil not under Australian command’. Richardson bluntly accused the two businessmen of putting their commercial interests ahead of Australia as a whole.86

Although some parts of corporate Australia are clearly alarmed that the strategic relationship with the United States might place their business interests at risk, China’s economic leverage over Australia should not be exaggerated. While China is Australia’s largest two-way trading partner in goods and services, the economic relationship is rather one-dimensional. Exports to China consist mostly of commodities and imports of cheaply manufactured consumer goods. This fact, together with the dynamic nature of the international commodities market, means that China’s capacity to punish Australia economically is in practice ‘almost non-existent’.87 The economic relationship with the United States, on the other hand, is both strong and diverse. The United States remains Australia’s biggest two-way investment partner and third-ranked two-way trade partner, which includes sophisticated manufactures.

On a popular level, national surveys indicate strong and sustained support for the Australia-US alliance and presumably the various ‘joint-facilities’.88 Despite this support, there is good reason to question the common assumption that, in the words of former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, the Australia-US alliance is too ‘deeply ingrained in the minds and hearts of the Australian people’ to be challenged.90It is also highly likely many Australians are ignorant of the fact that the treaty does not constitute a guarantee the US will come to Australia’s aid in the event of an attack but merely the obligation for each state to ‘consult’ and act ‘in accordance with its constitutional processes’.91

Australian perceptions of China as a military threat. Source: Lowy Institute Poll, 2014

 

Notwithstanding widespread ignorance about what is arguably the core of the Australia-US alliance, there is much room for interpretation in national surveys which ostensibly indicate strong support for it. Although Australian officials cite consistently high-levels of public support for the alliance, they invariably neglect to mention that the same surveys also frequently demonstrate that a majority of Australians desire a more independent foreign policy from the United States. Key foreign policy decisions made in accordance with Australia’s alliance obligations or to strengthen the alliance, as in recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the 2004 Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA), have all been deeply unpopular.

Despite its alliance obligations, 76 per cent of the public believe Australia should only support US military action if it is authorised by the UN and less than half (48 per cent) believe Australia should join the US in a new war in the Middle East. While the majority (61 per cent) of Australians are in favour of basing US forces in Australia,92 only 38 per cent believe Australia should support US military action in Asia in a conflict, for example, between China and Japan.93 Were the full implications of the bases widely understood, including the fact that they could implicate Australia in any US war with China, a considerable reduction in support is conceivable.

High-levels of popular support for the alliance – which is frequently characterised in polls as a ‘security’ or ‘defence’ relationship that helps ‘guarantee’ Australia’s security – likely derives in large part from the profound and persistent sense of national insecurity present in the public at large. Whether it be the rise of China, Indonesia or an irrational fear of being inundated by ‘boat people’, Australians as a whole remain insecure.

In reality Australia, along with New Zealand, faces ‘the least strategic challenge from the rise of China’ compared with any other East Asian country, according to Chinese defence and foreign policy specialist Robert S. Ross. Despite its military modernisation, ‘China’s naval surface fleet, including its aircraft carrier, cannot contend with many regional air forces… much less carry out advanced naval operations in Australian waters’. Moreover, ‘China’s most advanced aircraft and conventional missiles cannot reach Australia.’94

Australia’s most distinguished strategic and defence studies expert, Paul Dibb, broadly agrees with this assessment. Although a strong believer in the US alliance, Dibb has dismissed alarmist interpretations of China’s growing military power, describing the Chinese navy as a ‘paper tiger’ and warning Australians not to ‘frighten ourselves to death by drumming up the next military threat to Australia and basing our defence policy on the likelihood that we are going to be attacked by China’.95

Military capabilities aside, China has no conceivable interest in becoming embroiled in a military conflict with Australia. Lying far from its sea lines of communication, Australia is not strategically important to China. Thus, concludes former Australian ambassador James Ingram, ‘there is no reason why China would want to attack Australia unless it is allied with a United States itself in military conflict with China.’96

Despite this reality, 48 per cent of Australians in 2014 persisted in believing that China would likely become a military threat to Australia in the next 20 years.97 Australia as a whole also has an exaggerated view of China’s economic power and is one of very few countries in the Asia-Pacific where a majority believe that China will eventually replace the United States as the world’s leading superpower, with 67 per cent holding this view in 2013.98

Defence Spending in Maritime Southeast Asia. Source: IISS, The Military Balance 2014

 

Similarly unfounded fears exist about the rise of Indonesia with 54 per cent of Australians concerned that it will emerge as a military threat.99 In reality, Australia’s defence spending is three times greater than Indonesia’s and the ADF now, and in the foreseeable future, is likely to retain its air and naval superiority over the Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) which continues to lack significant power projection capabilities.100

There is clearly a gap between how the Australian public and officialdom envisage the alliance. As noted Australian strategic and defence studies expert Desmond Ball has pointed out, ‘there are significant differences between the positions articulated in official policy statements and public opinion’. In elite circles, ‘Since the 1980s, the important aspects of the alliance have been the preferential access to US defence technology… the intelligence cooperation and exchange arrangements; and the access to the most senior strategic councils in Washington’ derived from the hosting of important US bases or joint facilities. ‘On the other hand, the media and general public tend to view the importance of the alliance very much in traditional terms – that is, whether or not it provides a US security guarantee in the event of attack on Australia.’101

In other words, whereas the wider public conceive of the alliance as a means to secure Australia’s security, in elite circles it is primarily about securing Australia’s status as a ‘middle power’ and an ‘Asia-Pacific power’ by bolstering domestic defence and intelligence assets and providing access and influence over Washington.102

Ostensibly, this ‘force-multiplier’ effect of the alliance helps undergird Australia’s ability to independently defend itself. Yet security threats cannot constitute an adequate explanation for elite support of the alliance given that Australia has one of the most benign strategic environments in the world. ‘Since the 1970s’, Ball writes, ‘official assessments have reiterated that Australia faces no foreseeable threats, and threat scenarios have played no part in the development of Australia’s defence capabilities.’ Thus, Ball concludes, ‘the vitality of the alliance has been “threat insensitive”.’103

Australian’s security fears are a reflection of historically and culturally embedded fears of Asia and an accompanying belief that dependence on a ‘great and powerful friend’ is fundamental for the defence of the nation.104 Addressing these irrational fears which keep Australians dependent on the United States and bridging the divide between how the alliance is conceived of by the public and how it is interpreted and carried out by Australia’s political leaders is fundamental to challenging at a grassroots level Australia’s participation in the Pivot to Asia and the worst aspects that embody the Australia-US alliance more generally.

Vince Scappatura is researching Australia-US relations as a PhD candidate at Deakin University, Melbourne. He can be reached by email.

Notes

1 The author gratefully acknowledges the many helpful comments and suggestions on draft versions of this article by Mark Selden. Of course, all errors are my own.

2 (2012), ‘Remarks by President Obama to the Australian Parliament’, Parliament House, Canberra, Australia, 17 November.

3 Hillary Clinton (2011), ‘America’s Pacific Century’, Foreign Policy, 11 October.

4 For the latest developments on the Pivot see S.D. Muni and Vivek Chadha, eds, Asian Strategic Review 2014: US Pivot and Asian Security, New Delhi: Pentagon Press.

5 Arvind Gupta (2014), ‘Forward’, in Muni and Chadha, eds, p. vii.

6 Zachary Keck (2014), ‘Can the US Afford the Asia Pivot?’, The Diplomat, 5 March.

7 (2014), Statement of Admiral Jonathan Greenert, US Navy Chief of Operations, 2014 Report to the Senate Armed Services Committee, 27 March, pp. 1-3, 20.

8 United States Senate (2013), ‘Inquiry Into US Costs and Allied Contributions to Support the US Military Presence Overseas’, Report of the Committee on Armed Services, 15 April, p. 58.

9 Wyatt Olson (2014), ‘Deal likely to bring more US military assets to Australia’, Stars and Stripes, 20 June 2014.

10 Chuck Hagel (2013), ‘The US Approach to Regional Security’, speech to the Shangri-La Dialogue, 1 June.

11 John Reed (2013), ‘US Deploying Jets Around Asia to Keep China Surrounded’, Foreign Policy, 29 July.

12 (2014), ‘US, Philippines Sign Military Deal to Counter Chinese Aggression’, The Australian, 28 April.

13 Andrew Yeo (2013), ‘A Base for (In)Security? The Jeju Naval Base and Competing Visions of Peace on the Korean Peninsula’, in Daniel Broudy, Peter Simpson and Makoto Arakaki, eds, Under Occupation: Resistance and Struggle in a Militarised Asia-Pacific, Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, p. 228.

14 Leevin T. Camacho (2013), ‘Poison In Our Waters: A Brief Overview of the Proposed Militarisation of Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands’, The Asia Pacific Journal, vol. 11, Issue 51, No. 1, 23 December.

15 Zachary Keck (2014), ‘East Asia Imports Surged by 25% in 2013’, The Diplomat, 21 March.

16 Linda Sieg and Kiyoshi Takenaka (2014), ‘Japan Takes Historic Step From Post-War Pacifism, Oks Fighting for Allies’, Reuters, 1 July.

17 Justin Logan (2013), ‘China, America and the Pivot to Asia’, CATO Institute, Policy Analysis No. 717, p. 10.

18 Brendan Nicholsan (2012), ‘US Seeks Deeper Military Ties’, 28 March The Australian.

19 Gordon Arthur (2012), ‘US Marine Deployment in Darwin – “Bordering on the Remarkable!”’, Asia Pacific Defence Reporter, 31 October

20 (2014), Chapter Two: Comparative Defence Statistics, The Military Balance, International Institute for Strategic Studies.

21 Hans M Kristensen, Robert S Norris, Matthew G McKinzie (2006), ‘Chinese Nuclear Forces and US Nuclear War Planning’, produced by the Federation of American Scientists and the Natural Resources Defence Council, November, p. 2.

22 Jon B Wolfsthal, Jeffrey Lewis, Marc Quint (2014), ‘The Trillion Dollar Nuclear Triad: US Strategic Nuclear Modernisation Over the Next Thirty Years’, James Martin Centre for Nonproliferation Studies.

23 David Vine (2012), ‘The Lily-Pad Strategy: How the Pentagon is Quietly Transforming its Overseas Base Empire and Creating a Dangerous New Way of War’, Tom Dispatch, 15 July; Nick Turse (2014), ‘The Special Ops Surge: America’s Secret War in 134 CountriesTom Dispatch, 16 January.

24 Michael Beckley (2011/12), ‘China’s Century? Why America’s Edge will Endure’, International Security, vol. 36, no. 3, pp. 41-78.

25 Joshua R Itzkowitz Shifrinson and Michael Beckley (2012/13), ‘Correspondence; Debating China’s Rise and US Decline’, International Security, vol. 77, no. 3, p. 178.

26 Beckley, pp. 63-73.

27 Leo Panitch and Sam Gindin (2012), ‘The Making of Global Capitalism: The Political Economy of American Empire’, London: Verso, p. 298.

28 Chengxin Pan (2009), ‘What is Chinese About Chinese Business? Locating the ‘Rise of China’ in Global Production Networks’, Journal of Contemporary Asia, vol. 18, no. 58, pp. 15-20.

29 Panitch and Gindin, p. 289.

30 Benjamin H. Friedman and Justin Logan (2012), ‘Why the US Military Budget is “Foolish and Sustainable”’, Orbis, vol. 56, no. 2, p. 179.

31 John Frewen (2010), ‘Harmonious Ocean? Chinese Aircraft Carriers and the Australia-US Alliance’, Joint Force Quarterly, Issue 59, 4th quarter, p. 69.

32 Andrew Davies and Benjamin Schreer (2011), ‘Whither US forces? US Military Presence in the Asia-Pacific and the Implications for Australia’, Australian Strategic Policy Institute, 8 September, p. 4.

33 Justin Kelly (2012), ‘Fighting China: AirSea battle and Australia’, Australian Army Journal, vol. 9, no. 3, pp. 157.

34 Sugio Takahashi (2014), ‘New QDR, New NDPG, and New Defence Guidelines’, The Association of Japanese Institutes of Strategic Studies (AJISS) Commentary, no. 198, 15 May.

35Defence White Paper (2013), Commonwealth of Australia, p. 29.

36 Andrew Davies and Mark Thompson (2010), ‘Known Unknowns: Uncertainty About the Future of the Asia-Pacific’,  Australian Strategic Policy Institute, issue 35, p. 10.

37 Craig A Snyder (2012), ‘Security in the South China Sea’, Corbett Paper No. 3, Corbett Centre for Maritime Policy Studies, London; Mark J Valencia (2010), ‘The South China Sea: Back to the Future?’ Global Asia, vol. 5, no. 4, p. 10.

38 Every joint communique issued at the Australia-US Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN) since 2010 has reiterated the ‘importance of peace and stability, respect for international law, unimpeded lawful commerce, and freedom of navigation in the East and South China Sea’. Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

39 Ralf Emmers (2013), ‘The US Rebalancing Strategy: Impact on the South China Sea’ in Leszek Buszynski and Christopher Roberts, eds,The South China Sea and Australia’s Regional Security Environment, National Security College Occasional Paper, no. 5, September, p. 41-2.

40 Gareth Evans (2013), ‘The South China Sea and Australia’s Regional Security Environment’, speech to the launch of the Australian National University’s National Security College Occasional Paper No 5, 2 October, p. 2.

41 Mark J Valencia (2010), ‘The South China Sea: Back to the Future?’; (2011), ‘Foreign Military in Asian EEZs: Conflict Ahead?’, The National Bureau of Asian Research, Special Report No. 27.

42 Leszek Buszynski (2012), ‘The South China Sea: Oil, Maritime Claims, and US-China Strategic Rivalry“, The Washington Quarterly, vol. 35, no. 2, p. 144; (2012), ‘Chinese Naval Strategy, the United States, ASEAN and the South China Sea’, Security Challenges, vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 19-32. Ross makes a similar point when he argues that the threat posed to Chinese security by an aggressive US interventionist policy on China’s periphery has provoked a hawkish response from Beijing. Robert S Ross (2012), ‘The Problem With the Pivot: Obama’s New Asia Policy Is Unnecessary and Counterproductive’, Foreign Affairs, November/December.

43 Gavan McCormack (2012), ‘Troubled Seas: Japan’s Pacific and East China Sea Domains (and Claims)’, TheAsia-Pacific Journal, vol. 10, issue 36, no. 4.

44 Geoff Dyer (2014), ‘Barack Obama Says Disputed Islands Covered by Japan Pact’, Financial Times, 23 April.

45 Robert Ayson (2005), ‘Regional Stability in the Asia-Pacific: Towards a Conceptual Understanding’ Asian Security, vol. 1, no. 2, pp.  196-198.

46 Mark Beeson (2009), ‘The United States and East Asia: The decline of long-distance leadership?’, The Asia-Pacific Journal, 43-1-09. McCormack makes a similar point with respect to the normalisation of differences between Japan and South Korea and North and South Korea. If ‘peace broke out in East Asia’, McCormack writes, ‘the justification for the sprawling US military base presence in South Korea and Japan would disappear’. Gavan McCormack (2004), Target North Korea: Pushing North Korea to the Brink of Nuclear Catastrophe, Sydney: Random House Australia, pp. 144-5.

47 Quoted in Chengxin Pan (2014), ‘The “Indo-Pacific” and Geopolitical Anxieties About China’s Rise in the Asian Regional Order’, Australian Journal of International Affairs, vol. 68, no. 4, p. 458.

48 Pan. Also see Jae Jeok Park (2011), ‘The US-led Alliances in the Asia-Pacific: Hedge Against Potential Threats or an Undesirable Multilateral Security Order?’, The Pacific Review, vol. 24, no. 2, pp. 137-158.

49 Davies and Schreer, p. 1.

50 Eddie Walsh (2011), ‘America’s Southern Anchor?’ The Diplomat, 25 August.

51 Brendan Nicholsan (2010), ‘US Forces Get Nod To Share Our Bases’, The Australian, 6 November.

52 Richard Tanter (2012), ‘After Obama – The New Joint Facilities’, Nautilis Institute for Security and Sustainability, 18 April, pp. 12-15.

53 (2012) ‘US Force Posture Strategy in the Asia Pacific Region: An Independent Assessment’, Centre for Strategic and International Studies, August, pp. 74-5.

54 Richard Tanter (2012), ‘Memo Stephen Smith: there are US bases in Australia and they are expanding’, The Conversation.

55 Gemma Daley and Marcus Priest (2012), ‘Smith Confirms Cocos As US Base Option’, Australian Financial Review, 28 March.

56 (2012), ‘Coalition Backs US Drone Base On Cocos Islands’, ABC, 29 March.

57 Cameron Stewart (2013), ‘US Boosts Regional Military Footprint’, The Australian, 23 August; James Brown (2013), ‘US Reveals New Darwin Marines Move’, The Interpreter, Lowy Institute for International Policy, 23 August.

58 Jim Thomas, Zack Cooper, Iskander Rehman (2013), ‘Gateway to the Indo-Pacific: Australian Defence Strategy and the Future of the Australia-US Alliance’Centre for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, November.

59 Thomas et. al, pp. 1 and 6.

60 2014 Report to the Senate Armed Services Committee, p. 21.

61 (2014), Statement of Admiral Samuel J Locklear, US Commander of Pacific Command, 2014 Report to the Senate Armed Services Committee, 25 March, pp. 17-18.

62 Ely Ratner  (2013), ‘Resident Power: Building a Politically Sustainable US Military Presence in Southeast Asia and Australia’, Centre for a New American Security, October, p. 15.

63 Vine. Also see Jonathan Bogais (2014), ‘Asia-Pacific Focus Will Revitalise US Hegemony, But At What Price?’, The Conversation, 4 March.

64 Richard Tanter (2012), ‘The “Joint Facilities” Revisited – Desmond Ball, Democratic Debate on Security, and the Human Interest’, Nautilis Institute for Security and Sustainability, 11 December, p. 32-37.

65 Tanter, ‘After Obama’, p. 6.

66 Phillip Dorling (2013), ‘Snowden Reveals Australia’s links to US spy web’, The Age, 8 July; (2013), ‘US spying on our neighbours through embassies’, Sydney Morning Herald, 29 October; (2013), ‘Exposed: Australia’s Asia spy network’, The Age, 31 October; (2014), “Edward Snowden documents show Malaysia is an Australia, US intelligence target’, Sydney Morning Herald, 30 March.

67 Philip Dorling (2013), ‘Pine Gap Drives US Drone Kills’, The Age, 21 July; Richard Tanter (2013), ‘The US Military Presence in Australia: Asymmetrical Alliance Cooperation and its Alternatives’, The Asia Pacific Journal, vol. 11, issue 45, no. 1, November 11.

68 The American defence facilities at North West Cape, Pine Gap and Nurrungar were all considered to be highly likely nuclear targets of the Soviet Union during the Cold War, and not ‘only’ during a general nuclear war. Moreover, their presence invited a nuclear attack on other Australian military bases and facilities and even Australian cities. Desmond Ball (1980), A Suitable Piece of Real Estate: American Installations in Australia, Sydney: Hale and Iremonger, pp. 130-138.

69 Davies and Schreer, pp. 5-6.

70 Thomas et. al, pp. 24-26.

71 Thomas et. al, p. 27.

72 Brendan Nicholson (2012), ‘Secret “war” with China uncovered’, The Australian, 2 June 2012.

73 Brendan Taylor (2013), ‘The Defence White Paper 2013 and Australia’s Strategic Environment’, Security Challenges, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 15-22; Benjamin Schreer (2013), ‘Business as Usual? The 2013 Defence White Paper and the US Alliance’, Security Challenges, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 35-42.

74 (2011), ‘Australia could be caught in Sino-US crossfire’, People’s Daily, 16 November.

75 John Kerry and Robert Guy (2011), ‘New base for Indian Ocean’, Australian Financial Review, 19 November.

76 Michael Sainsbury (2010), ‘Australia could be a martyr, says Brigadier General John Frewen’, The Australian, 16 November.

77 Hugh White (2005), ‘The Limits to Optimism: Australia and the Rise of China’, Australian Journal of International Affairs, vol. 59, no. 4, December, pp. 469-80; Hugh White (2010), ‘Power Shift: Australia’s future between Washington and Beijing’ Quarterly Essay, vol. 39, pp. 1-74; Hugh White (2012), The China Choice: Why America Should Share Power, Collingwood, VIC: Black Inc.

78 Malcolm Fraser and Cain Roberts (2014), Dangerous Allies, Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, pp. 276-77.

79 The Sydney Morning Herald’s political and international editor, Peter Hartcher, describes the response to Fraser’s call to break the Australia-US alliance as ‘the great silence’. Peter Hartcher (2014), ‘Does Australia Really Need the US alliance’, Sydney Morning Herald, 21 May.

80 Paul Kelly (2012), ‘China Divides Labor Across its Generations’, The Australian, 11 August.

81 Paul Dibb (2012), ‘Why I Disagree with Hugh White on China’s Rise’, The Australian, 13 August; Brad Glosserman (2011), ‘The Australian Canary’, The Diplomat, 23 November.

82 Greg Sheridan (2010), ‘Distorted Vision of Future US-China relations,The Australian, 11 September.

83 Geoff Wade (2014), ‘Australia, the United States and China: The Debate Continues’, Flagpost, Australian Parliamentary Library, 16 June.

84 Peter Ker (2011), ‘Palmer Blasts Obama’s Marines Plan For NT’Sydney Morning Herald, 22 November.

85 Angus Grigg, Perry Williams and Jamie Freed (2011), ‘Guess Hu’s Not Coming To Dinner’, Australian Financial Review, 18 November; Tony Walker (2011), ‘All The Way With Obama’, Australian Financial Review, 19 November.

86 Greg Earl, Ben Holgate and Jacob Greber (2012), ‘Stokes And Packer: We Need To Bow To China’, Australian Financial Review, 14 September; Tony Walker (2012), ‘China Can’t Buy Australia, Says Defence Secretary’, Australian Financial Review, 20 September.

87 Nick Bisley ‘“An Ally For All The Years to Come”: Why Australia Is Not A Conflicted US Ally’, Australian Journal of International Affairs, vol. 67, no. 4, p. 12.

88 The US Alliance 2005-2014, Lowy Institute for International Policy Interactive Poll, available from .

89 (2012), Michael J. Green interview with former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, ‘Discussing Global Trends with Former Australian P.M. Kevin Rudd’, Centre for Strategic and International Studies, 2 April, available from,

.

90 The United States Studies Centre (2007), ‘Australian Attitudes Towards the United States: Foreign Policy, Security, Economics and Trade’, presentation by Professor Murray Goot, 3 October, p. 17, available from .

911951 Security Treaty Between Australia, New Zealand and the United States (ANZUS), full text available from .

92Support for US bases in Australia was 55 per cent in 2011, 74 per cent in 2012 and 61 per cent in 2013 according to the 2011-2013 Lowy Institute Poll, available from .

93 Lowy Institute for International Policy (2013), ‘Australia and the World: Public Opinion and Foreign Policy’, p. 8, available from

94 Robert S Ross (2013), ‘The US Pivot to Asia and Implications for Australia’, Centre of GravitySeries, ANU Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, available from .

95 Paul Dibb (2014), ‘Manoeuvres Make Waves but in Truth Chinese Navy is a Paper Tiger’, The Australian, 7 March, available from, ; (2011), ‘Knocking on Nobody’s Door’, The Australian, 18 July, available from .

96 James Ingram (2011), ‘A Time for Change – The Alliance and Australian Foreign Policy’, address to the Australian Institute of International Affairs, 9 June.

97 Lowy Institute for International Policy (2014), ‘Australia and the World: Public Opinion and Foreign Policy’, p. 5,  available from .

98 (2013), ‘America’s Global Image Remains More Positive than China’s’, July 18, Pew Research Centre, available from .

99 Lowy Institute for International Policy (2013), p. 13.

100 Benjamin Schreer (2013), ‘Moving Beyond Ambitions? Indonesia’s Military Modernisation’, Australian Strategic Policy Institute, November, available from .

101 Desmond Ball (2001), ‘The Strategic Essence’, Australian Journal of International Affairs, vol. 55, no. 2, pp. 245-246.

102 Paul Dibb (2007), ‘Australia-United States’ in Brendan Taylor (ed), Australia as an Asia Pacific Regional Power: Friendship in Flux, Oxon: Routledge, pp. 33-49.

103 Ball, p. 245.

104 Anthony Burke (2008), Fear of Security: Australia’s Invasion Anxiety, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; Marilyn Lake and Henry Reynolds (2009), Drawing the Global Colour Line: White Men’s Countries and the International Challenge of Racial Equality, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; David Walker (1999), Anxious Nation: Australia and the Rise of Asia 1850-1939, St Lucia, QLD: University of Queensland Press; Alan Renouf (1979), The Frightened Country, South Melbourne: MacMillan.

Ever since the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) expressed their unison through the formation of a joint Development Bank – Durban, South Africa on 27 March 2013 – the Zionist-Anglo-Saxon caliphate attempted to divide them. The BRICS constitute some 45% of the world population and close to 30% of global GDP. The BRICS idea is to issue a joint alternative currency, fully detached from the US dollar and its greed economy.

In the meantime a number of other countries would like to join the BRICS, including Argentina, Venezuela, Iran, Mongolia, Malaysia and others, which would result in about one third of the world’s economic output and half of the global inhabitants.

This gives the BRICS a profile of strength surpassing that of the United States and Europe together. China alone is not only already the world’s largest economy, China is also dominating the Asian market of some 4.2 billion people, 60% of the world populations and a combined GDP of about US$ 20 trillion, equivalent to about US$ 25 trillion, when comparing purchasing power with the dollar based US economy of about US$ 17 trillion. Asia registered an average growth rate of almost 8% over the past few years, compared to that of the western world, hovering around 1%.

There is no need for the BRICS to fear US interference – divide to rein – if they are able to solidify their union with solidarity – political and monetary solidarity, as well as common trade policies – and if they have the political will to decouple their economies from the dollar – which is key for the BRICS success.

Sir Obama – here also called the western caliphate – has multiple self-assumed capacities. He creates new caliphates at his service, like the ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Syria); then he bombs them making the world believe they are enemies, condones their beheading of western journalists and clandestinely funds their Middle East crusade for energy and world dominance, a crusade the ISIS are carrying out for the supreme caliphate in the White House.

Washington’s caliphate also has a small army of ‘martyr nations’ fighting (and suffering) for him, like the 28 members of the European Union, led (sic) by a like-minded group of Washington-submissive neoliberal Zionist- Christian puppets. They do what Washington says. Most of them are also pro-forma members of the White House caliphate-driven worldwide war machine, called NATO, and ape the war cries of (the) Fogh (of war) Rasmussen, who is Obama’s master puppet in Europe.

Of course, the caliphate is always ready with sanctions for those who don’t behave, especially sanctions which backfire on others. The latest sanctions on Russia follow a series of billion dollar propaganda of lies and outright falsehoods, demonizing Vladimir Putin and Russia. Interestingly the ‘sanctions’ imposed on Russia by Washington’s supreme warrior – and submissively carried out by his European minions, have been retaliated by Russia by blocking most of agro-trading with Europe, leaving European farmers with rotting vegetables and fruit – billion dollar losses, estimated at a multiple of the ‘sanctions’ costs to Russia.

Neoliberals are short-sighted. They are overwhelmed by greed, instant gratification, and a dream of Full Spectrum Dominance, meaning controlling the world’s resources, money and people. But their caliphate empire is doomed, since lies and deceptions work some of the time with some of the people, but not all the time with all of the people. In fact, the tide is shifting – which is the silver lining of the dark cloud shed by the monstrous, murderous western war machine. The larger of the European minions, Germany and France, and some of the newer ones, Poland, Hungary the Czech Republic, to name but a few, become doubting and hesitating on the way of sanctions. They start feeling the hurt.

The Zionist Anglo-Saxon caliphate needs conflicts and wars in order to survive. Its economy is based on producing weapons and on destruction. World peace would make it collapse.

To attain their objective, the western caliphate is using a thousands-of-year-old wisdom – dividing to rein. By a multi-billion dollar driven worldwide propaganda and lie campaign, Obama and his European bootlickers first confuse the people of nations and continents, distort their common sense, then they drive a wedge between them, between allies, neighbors, common cultures, families – turning friends into foes.

Remember, the dollar is fiat money, not worth the paper it’s printed on. It is produced at will and is called Quantitative Easing (QE), a conveniently confusing euphemism for creating debt held as monetary reserves by nations’ treasuries around the globe.

The same happens with funding of the eternal war machine. Printing money at will has become a pastime justifying wars, mass killings for conquering the world’s resources and people. It will last as long as the rest of the world permits it. It’s already a fading phenomenon. Ten to fifteen years ago close to 90% of the world’s reserves were denominated in US dollars. Today that figure has shrunk to about 60%.

Dividing to rein is precisely what the western caliphate intends to do with the BRICS. Starting with Brazil, Washington attempts through an ugly smear campaign to slander Brazil’s leader, Dilma Rousseff and to defame Brazil’s economy. The former is accused of corruption and nepotism and Brazil’s economy is admonished for runaway private debt that supposedly stands at 80% of GDP. However, the smear-campaigners do not explain that thanks to the increase in private debt Brazil’s GDP has grown by 30% in the last decade. They don’t explain either that Brazil’s foreign debt to GDP ratio stands at less than 57%, compared with that of the US of almost 101.5% and of Germany’s, 82%.

In short, Brazil is doing well. But the presstitute media propaganda masters have managed to lower President Rousseff’s popularity to the point where her re-election in the forthcoming ballot is questionable. Precisely what the Washington caliphate wants.

Imagine an economy-based real contest between the western caliphate and the BRICS. With a GDP of about 30% of the world’s economic output, covering almost 50% of the globe’s population, the BRICS have an average debt to GDP ratio of less than 45 % (2014 estimates) – Brazil (56.8%), Russia (13.4%) India (67.7%), China (22.4%), South Africa (46.1%) – compared to that of the US (101.5%) and of the Eurozone (92.6%).

It is clear that the BRICS have nothing to fear from the western caliphate – and its possible slew of sanctions. However – and this is key – the western Zionist-Anglo-Saxon empire controls the current western monetary system. The FED, Wall Street, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the IMF, an extension of the US Treasury and the FED, as well as the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the central bank of central banks, the privately owned chief manipulator of gold and currencies – hold the western economies hostage. They finance the US /NATO war machine. The western Zionist-Anglo-Saxon controlled financial system has the same objective of Full Spectrum Dominance, as does the supreme caliphate and assassin-in-chief, Obama, who currently serves the western arms manufacturing and banking oligarchy.

It is therefore high time that the BRICS proceed to reality with their intended alternative currency, completely detached from the dollar and the Wall Street clearing system. The economic viability of such an alternative system stands about 2 to 3 times higher than that of the UD dollar.

An interim measure to stop the western bulldozer may be necessary. Russia and China and a number of other countries have already agreed to trade in their respective currencies and, in particular, to trade hydrocarbons in non-dollar denominated moneys, a measure that will considerably lower demand for the dollar, hence, further lower the dollars viability as a reserve currency. Russia and China are poised to issue a common currency, a basket of currencies that may be joined by other countries willing to detach themselves from the fangs of the western abusive monetary caliphate.

On 3 and 4 September, NATO, the military arm of the western caliphate met in Wales, UK – to discuss its raison d’être. By NATO’s own admission, this was the most important meeting since the collapse of the Soviet Union, attended by 60 heads of state, including the 28 NATO members. As expected the focus of the meeting was to demonize Russia, a key member of the BRICS, with lies and slanders that know hardly any competition in the world of deception. The final briefing report is so full of nonsense and unproven accusations – similar to those continuously aped by Fogh Rasmussen – that Russia doesn’t even need to counter them. The NATO declarations drown in their own lies and deceptions.

It is clear, after 65 years of existence and chaotic disasters all over the world, NATO needs a new identity, a new Cold War, or, better even, a new direct war with Russia – for ‘the security’ of Europe. Therefore, the caliphate Obama, in hopefully one of his last unabashed moves, is requesting that Europe ups its ante – that the European members contribute at least 2% of their GDP to NATO – and let the military industrial complex move more weapons into the European NATO bases. In other words, making Europe more vulnerable to Russian defense attacks, putting the peoples of Europe once again in the firing line. The European leaders (sic) seem to be oblivious to such dangers.

However, there is hope. As said by Pepe Escobar,

The real deal this September is not NATO. It’s the SCO’s summit. Expect the proverbial tectonic shifts of geopolitical plaques in the upcoming meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization – a shift as far-reaching as when the Ottoman Empire failed at the gates of Vienna in 1683. On the initiative of Russia and China, at the SCO summit, India, Pakistan, Iran and Mongolia will be invited to become permanent members.http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article39599.htm

The SCO summit could be the first step towards a new world order – not the notorious “One World Order” proclaimed by the empire of the Zionist-Anglo-Saxon caliphate – but a new direction of the world, away from an usurious, abusive financial and monetary system, away from Washington’s objective of Full Spectrum Dominance – towards a new world of sovereign states.

Peter Koenig is an economist and former World Bank staff. He worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He writes regularly for Global Research, ICH, the Voice of Russia, now Ria Novosti, and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe.

Units of the armed forces on Monday continued to launch large-scale operations against terrorists, inflicting heavy losses upon them in many areas across the country.

A Military Source told SANA that the Army targeted a training camp for terrorists of “the Islamic State in Iraq and Sham” in al-Rakka, killing a number of them and wounding many others, having their equipment and ammunition destroyed.

Army units killed many terrorists near the Electricity Company in al-Mansourah area in the city of Aleppo, a military source told SANA reporter.

It added that other army units destroyed three cars in Sharba’ and Qalqal areas in the countryside of the northern province, killing all the terrorists aboard them.

The source noted that army units also targeted gatherings of terrorists in the areas of al-Sheikh Khuder, al-Rashidin, al-Lairamoun, Deir Hafer, Um al-Qura, Tal Rif’at, Hanano, al-Inzarat, al-Halk and Khan Touman areas in the city and countryside, leaving many of the terrorists dead and wounded.

The terrorists’ weapons and equipment were destroyed during the operations.

An army unit destroyed a den for terrorists affiliated to Jabhat al-Nusra in al-Zarba area, southwest of Aleppo city, leaving all the terrorists inside dead or wounded.

Units of the armed forces carried out operations against terrorists’ dens and gatherings in Joubar neighborhood and in the eastern Ghouta in Damascus Countryside, killing and injuring many terrorists, some of them were non-Syrians.

A military source told SANA that the army units targeted many terrorists’ dens in Joubar neighborhood, killing and injuring scores of terrorists, in addition to destroying their equipment.

The source added that the army units discovered tunnels net and dismantled large numbers of explosive devices which were planted by terrorists inside the citizens’ houses and set to be detonated remotely.

Among the dead terrorists in Joubar neighborhood were Mohammad al-Harithi from Saudi Arabia and Jihad Araman from Sudan.

In the same context, another army unit killed many terrorists in Ein Tarma valley, including Ibrahim Hasaba and Khalid Badra.

Other army units killed and injured scores of terrorists affiliated to the so-called Islamic Front, in addition to destroying 3 cars loaded with weapons and ammunition near al-Athari Mosque in Adra al-Balad.

In Erbin town, an army unit destroyed a terrorists’ den, eliminating many terrorists, including Mohammad al-Masri.

In the southwestern countryside of Damascus, the army units stormed terrorists’ dens and gatherings in al-Fsoul al-Arba’a and al-Said Streets, Khan al-Sheeh farms and in the western farms of al-Husseiniyeh, killing and injuring scores of terrorists.

Army units eliminated several terrorists, destroyed several of their hideouts, uncovered tunnel network, and dismantled several explosive devices while advancing in Jobar area.

In the southern province of Quneitra, army units targeted gatherings of terrorists in Kammouneh, near the building of the Scientific Research Center to the west of Tal Mas’hara and in H’sseino village in the countryside, leaving numbers of them dead.

Army units also destroyed a tractor and a truck which terrorists were driving from Nab’ al-Sakhr and al-Murabba’at in the surrounding of Kammouneh town towards Mas’hara town in the countryside of the province. All the terrorists aboard the vehicles were killed and the weapons and ammunition they were transporting were destroyed.

An army unit destroyed two dens of terrorists and four armored vehicles they were using near the dens in Inkhel village in the countryside of the southern province of Daraa.

A military source told SANA reporter that units of the armed forces killed many terrorists and injured others near Samlin and Zamrin junction and al-Nada village.

Other army units targeted terrorists in the surroundings of Um al-Daraj and west to the old customs building in Daraa al-Balad, leaving many of them dead and wounded.

The army also killed several terrorists and injured others near the Farmers’ Association in Enkhel, at the crossroads between Samlin and Enkhel, al-Manasher area, and al-Thurayya building in Atman town, destroying five motorcycles and a heavy machinegun.

In Dama village and al-Shoumara in the countryside of the province, the army units killed scores of terrorists and destroyed a mortar launcher.

Tens of terrorists were killed in Rajm al-Ghates, east of Jireen town in the countryside of Sweida province along the administrative borders with Daraa province.

Units of the armed forces targeted terrorists’ dens and gatherings in Daraa and its countryside, inflicting heavy losses upon them.

A military source told SANA that the army units stormed terrorists’ dens in Tafas town in Daraa countryside, killing scores of terrorists, in addition to destroying a number of their vehicles.

The source added that another army unit eliminated many terrorists near Tal al-Khoudr and to the north of al-Mijbil, destroying a car equipped with heavy machinegun on Atman-Tafas road.

In Daraa al-Balad, the army units targeted terrorists’ gatherings near Syriatel building and in the area surrounding Bilal al-Habashi Mosque, killing and injuring scores of them.

Units of the armed forces carried out a series of operations in the countryside of the central province of Homs where many terrorists were killed and others were wounded, while a number their vehicles were destroyed.

A military source told SANA that army units killed many terrorists and wounded others in the areas of Khattab Sharqi, Abu al-Alayia and al-Kahf valley and al-Samarmar valley and al-Farhanieh village in Talbisa.

Operations in the areas of Tal Abu al-Sanasel and al-Helalieh alley in the countryside resulted in the destruction of a number of vehicles which terrorists were using, the source added.

An army unit also foiled an attempt by terrorists to infiltrate from the village of Ein Hussein into the farm of Ghreibeh to the north of al-Misherfa, leaving a number of the terrorists dead and wounded.

Another unit destroyed a pickup truck equipped with a heavy machinegun along with the terrorists on board in Oum Sharshouh in Homs countryside.

A military source said that an armed forces unit destroyed a communication center for terrorists in al-Rastan and one of their hideouts in al-Sa’en area, northeast of Homs, Killing many terrorists and injuring others.

Another army unit destroyed a terrorists’ den in al-Rastan city, killing and injuring all terrorists who were inside including Abdulaziz Alwan.

A military source said that an army unit targeted terrorist gatherings and hideouts in the town of Khattab in Hama countryside, eliminating several terrorists and injuring others.

Units of the armed forces destroyed dens for terrorists from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist organization in the neighborhoods of al-Rushdiyeh, al-Arda and al-Hweiqa in Deir Ezzor city.

An army unit killed and injured many ISIS terrorists, some of them non-Syrians, while targeting one of their hideouts at al-Naher Street in al-Arda neighborhood, a source in the governorate told SANA reporter.

The source added that terrorist Mohammed Adel from Egypt and Khaled Hassan Bakkar were identified among the dead.

In the same context, an army unit destroyed a den of ISIS terrorists in al-Rushdiyeh neighborhood, killing all terrorists who were inside. Terrorist Taher Ahmed Baghdadi was identified among the dead.

Dozens of terrorists were killed and injured as the army targeted their gatherings near al-Siyaseiye Bridge in al-Hweiqa neighborhood. Terrorists Tahsin Ali Hussein and Jasem Ammar were identified among the dead.

Armed forces units targeted terrorists’ gatherings and hideouts in Saraqeb, Kensafra, Khan Sheikhon, Benesh, al-Shaflah, and the surroundings of Jabal al-Arba’een in the countryside of the northern province of Idleb, killing large numbers of terrorists.

Other units target terrorist hideouts and gatherings in Wadi al-Sabil, west of Kourin village, and Kafri Rouma in Idleb countryside, killing several terrorists and injuring others, some of them non-Syrians, and destroying an armored vehicle and a vehicle equipped with a heavy machinegun.

The ECB announced on Thursday 4 September, 2014 that it would maintain and extend the measures adopted at the meeting of 5 June, 2014. This is being done at a time when it is clear that the policies the central bank has been applying since the start of the crisis have failed [1].

Italy is in recession: The GDI is down by 0.2% in the second quarter of 2014, after a drop of 0.1% in the preceding quarter[2].

In Portugal, which had supposedly weathered the crisis, the near bankruptcy of the country’s second-largest bank, Banco Espírito Santo (a veritable economic empire given the scale of the country) is an enormous drain on the public treasury, which once again is socialising the losses. In Germany, industrial production increased by only 0.3% in June 2014, whereas an increase of 1.2% had been expected.

In the space of one year, Germany’s industrial activity has contracted by 0.5% (whereas a 0.3% increase was expected). Inflation fell to 0.4% in July 2014 in the Eurozone, whereas the ECB Statute calls for it to keep the inflation rate near 2%. In the single currency zone, the unemployment rate remains high, at 12%. Despite these poor economic results, Mario Draghi is still praised by the mainstream media. The rest of this article analyses the measures taken by the ECB since June 2014.

It is complementary to the series, “Governments submit to ‘Too Big to Fail’ banks” see: http://cadtm.org/Central-Banks-lend-massively-to; http://cadtm.org/Governments-make-Gifts-Galore-to; http://cadtm.org/Private-banks-shamefully-enjoy-a.

On the day following an important meeting of the ECB, the Paris daily Le Monde was effusive in its praise for the president of the Frankfurt-based financial institution:

On Thursday 5 June Mario Draghi once again showed the maestria with which he leads the European Central Bank. More than ever, the Italian is at the controls – the right man in the right place. [3] (see the inset on Mario Draghi’s CV)

The Financial Times and the dominant press in its entirety agreed enthusiastically. The financial markets reacted very positively, and the stock exchanges purred contentedly.

Inset on Mario Draghi: From 1991 to 2001 Mario Draghi was general director of the Italian Ministry of the Treasury, in charge of privatisations. From 1993 to 2001, he chaired the Committee for privatisations. In that capacity, he was a member of the Board of Directors of several banks and companies which were in the process of being transferred to the private sector (Eni, IRI, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro-BNL and IMI). From 2002 to 2005, Mario Draghi was vice-president of the European branch of the American investment bank Goldman Sachs. It was during that period that the investment bank offered its services to the Greek authorities to doctor the public accounts. Goldman Sachs profited greatly from that operation. On 16 January, 2006 Mario Draghi became governor of the Bank of Italy, appointed by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi for a renewable term of office of six years. Mario Draghi became president of the ECB on 1 November, 2011

One thing is certain: The decisions made by the ECB will not improve the economic situation and will not generate employment, and living conditions will not improve for the population of the Eurozone. Yet the ECB is holding to the same course – total support for the large banks and the financial elite over the interests of the overwhelming majority of the population.

What measures were announced by the ECB on 4 September, 2014 ?

Fixing the interest rate paid by banks on money borrowed from the ECB at 0.05%.

The ECB has decided to lower the rate at which it lends money to private banks yet again. That rate (in force since November 2013) was reduced from 0.25% to 0.15% in June 2014, and again to 0.05% as of 10 September, 2014[4]. That means more profit for the private banks, who can then lend the money to States at a rate which varies from 1.40% (in the case of Germany as of late June 2014) to 6.00% for Greece[5]… Officially, the lower rate is supposed to encourage the banks to grant more loans to businesses (especially small and medium enterprises – SMEs –, which are Europe’s biggest employer) and households. But as we see, the banks prefer to lend to States. It’s more secure and/or more profitable. And, buying sovereign debt securities makes it easier for them to attain the required minimum ratio between their equity and their total assets imposed by the banking regulatory authorities [6].

Fixing the rate on deposits in the ECB at 0.20%

The ECB also decided that banks that deposit money overnight for safekeeping will have to pay a rate of 0.20%. Officially this is also aimed at inciting banks to lend the money they have on hand to SMEs and households rather than depositing it with the ECB. In reality, this has proved to be ineffective. Loans to SMEs and households are either stagnating or decreasing, depending on the country.

Why do the banks deposit cash with the ECB? Because they need to show other bankers and private suppliers of credit (money market funds, pension funds, insurance companies) that they have ready cash to face the potential explosion of the time bombs that are on their books. Without this, potential lenders would shun them, or else demand very high interest rates, their stockholders would run and their stock market quotations would crumble.

Granting 400 billion euros of additional long-term credit to banks

The ECB also announced that it will lend private bankers €400 billion at a fixed rate (which will probably be very low, around 0.05% – we’ll wait and see). Officially this measure is supposed to encourage the banks to loosen the purse strings for SMEs in order to kick-start production and create jobs. The ECB has led us to believe that it will grant these new long-term credits on condition that the banks lend the money to small and medium companies. We’ll need to watch closely what the concrete application of that announcement will be, because up until now the ECB has never forced the banks to do anything specific with the funds it lends them. What is sure is that a whole series of banks who had borrowed €1,000 billion between December 2011 and January 2012 in the context of LTROs (Long Term Refinancing Operations) for a period of three years urgently need those €400 billion in new long-term credits, called TLTROs (Targeted Long Term Refinancing Operations). These new credits could let them bridge the gap and avoid having to declare insolvency due to their inability to reimburse the debt.

To understand why this new €400-billion credit is vital for a series of major banks, you need to understand what an LTRO is (see inset).

Inset: LTRO: What is it?

An LTRO (Long Term Refinancing Operation) consists in granting long-term loans to banks. Between December 2011 and February 2012, the ECB lent over €1,000 billion to more than 800 banks for a period of 3 years at an interest rate of 1% (at a time when the inflation was about 2%). In fact, the gift to Banks was more lavish than is suggested by an interest rate of only 1% (already very advantageous). Why? For two simple reasons:

1. The interest is not due until the repayment date of the loan. If a bank borrows over three years for the full period and does not reimburse the loan early, it pays the interest only after three years;

2. This rate has since been lowered several times, down to 0.05% in September 2014.

Let’s take a bank like Dexia[7], which borrowed over 20 billion euros from the ECB for a period of 3 years in early 2012; it won’t need to reimburse the 20 billion until early in 2015. To that amount will be added the interest payments, which are calculated in the following way: A 1% interest rate until July 2012, 0.75% for the period July 2012 to May 2013, 0.50% from May 2013 through November 2013, 0.25% between November 2013 and June 2014, 0.15% from June 2014 through September 2014 and 0.05% interest starting in September 2014[8].

So, a bank like Dexia will pay the interest only at the point in time when it reimburses the amount it borrowed. What happens at that point? Obviously many banks – like Dexia, the main Italian bank, Intesa Sanpaolo (ISP.MI) (which received 24 billion euros in LTROs), and Espírito Santo (the 2nd-ranking Portuguese bank), threatened with collapse since July 2014 – will not be able to reimburse the amount borrowed unless they secure a new loan more or less equivalent to the previous one. Who can these banks borrow from? Why, from the ECB – under a TLTRO (Targeted Long Term Refinancing Operation)

. And in fact that’s the real raison d’être of the TLTROs. But the ECB can’t say so officially, because it needs to contribute to the illusion that the banks are healthy, that they’ve cleaned up their books, are not short of cash, etc. And that’s why Mario Draghi announced that the TLTROs will be used to finance SMEs.

The ECB pressures private banks to produce more structured products

The banks have reduced loans to households and companies – especially the small and medium ones (SMEs) that provide the majority of jobs. In 2013, bank credits dropped by 2% in the Eurozone, and credits to non-financial companies fell by approximately 3.5%. The peripheral economies of the European Union, of course, are most affected.

What Mario Draghi proposes to European bankers to encourage them to increase the credit the grant to SMEs is to increase production of structured products made up of a group of loans to SMEs. What is this about? Banks that grant loans to SMEs can take the risk entailed off their balance sheets by securitising the loans as Asset Backed Securities. Then the BCE will allow the banks to deposit these structured products as collateral (that is, as guarantee) in exchange for credit at 0.05%. Since in 2014 the rates banks demand for loans to SMEs are between 5% and 6% in Spainand Italyand 3% and 4% in Franceand Germany, this is an opportunity for banks to turn a good profit, Draghi points out. But despite this juicy proposal, the banks remain shy of increasing their credits to SMEs and creating more structured products as proposed by the BCE’s president[9]. Mario is very disappointed at this and takes every opportunity to repeat the offer. He did it once again at the meeting of the ECB’s Executive Board on 5 June, 2014. Going a step farther, on 4 September, 2014, he announced that the ECB would soon purchase several hundred million € worth of ABSs.  At a press conference at the ECB meeting, Draghi told the press that the ECB would “purchase a broad portfolio of simple and transparent asset-backed securities (ABSs) […]” based on underlying loans[10].

The proliferation of structured products was at the root of the banking crisis that began in 2007-2008, and the only solution Mario Draghi can come up with for re-starting credit to SMEs is to inciteEurope’s banks to produce more!

The ECB will increase the cash in circulation

Since 2008-2009, the ECB has continued to increase the cash it makes available to banks, to the point where these funds are flooding the real economy (see below). On 5 June, 2014 it announced a change in its policy of buying back sovereign debt, which will have the result of increasing cash a little more. In the jargon, this is called ending the sterilisation of the program of buying back sovereign debt (the Securities Markets Program). Until now, when it purchased sovereign securities (Italian, Portuguese, Greek, Irish, Spanish, etc.) from banks that the latter had acquired on the primary market, the ECB took an equivalent volume of cash from the banks. Beginning in June 2014, the ECB will pay the banks for the securities they purchase from them without demanding the equivalent in liquidities. By doing this, “The ECB will mechanically increase the cash available to the banking system” says Frédéric Rollin, a strategy advisor with Pictet[11]. The amount is approximately €170 billion.

The European economy has fallen into the liquidity trap

Because of the policies pursued by the central banks and governments, the economy of the most industrialised countries has fallen into what J. M. Keynes called the “liquidity trap.” Whereas the central banks inject liquidity and reduce interest rates, banks and major private corporations prefer to keep that cash available. The banks keep it to use in facing blowback from the “time bombs” they have on their balance sheets and the new bubbles they actively contribute to creating[12]. Industrial and service companies feel that there’s no point in investing since the private and public demand is low. And so they sit on an enormous pile of cash, or else use it to speculate with. In 2012, European companies held liquidities worth €2,400 billion (or 16 times the European Union’s annual budget!)[13]. That is an all-time high.

According to Keynes, to get out of the liquidity trap, governments must increase public expenditures in order to stimulate demand, and thus stimulate the economy – expenditures for investments (obviously there could be massive investments in the ecological transition, renewable energy sources, major public works, scholastic and community buildings), expenditures to hire and better remunerate public-service workers, social expenditures (health, education, social services), expenditures to increase retirement pensions and various social allocations, and so on. But central bankers and governments have no use for such ideas.

Mario Draghi, the ECB and the BIS argue and act offensively in order to further neoliberal policies

Mario Draghi has recently made a number of declarations[14] and initiatives to extend budgetary austerity measures and further structural measures to increase the precarity of social benefits and collective solidarity mechanisms – increasing the flexibility of work contracts to facilitate layoffs, reducing wages, increasing the intensity and duration of work, attacks against retirement pensions, etc.

The annual report of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), published in June 2014, takes exactly the same approach: “The mix of structural policies will necessarily vary according to the country. But it will frequently include deregulating protected sectors, such as services, improving labour market flexibility, raising participation rates and trimming public sector bloat.

More emphasis on repair and reform implies relatively less on expansionary demand management.

This principle applies to fiscal policy. After the initial fiscal push, the need to ensure longer-term sustainability has been partly rediscovered. This is welcome: putting the fiscal house in order is paramount; the temptation to stray from this path should be resisted.”[15] In other words, the BIS wants governments to go even farther in their attacks on the social progress made after the Second World War and in reducing public expenditures.

Conclusions

The enormous growth in liquidities Europe has experienced since 2007-2008 has served to maintain the power of the large private banks intact, yet has not put an end to the crisis for the economies concerned. Thanks to the intervention of the ECB and other central banks (and of course, the decisions made by governments), the large private banks are continuing their massively speculative and often fraudulent – not to say criminal – activities. They are supported by a mechanism that provides permanent transfusions of resources (unlimited public credits at interest rates that are nil or even negative). Certain banks – and they are not minor ones – are simply kept on artificial life support (added to the unlimited public credits is an injection of public capital to recapitalise them and public guarantees of their debts). The banking function is too serious to be left in the hands of the private sector. The banking sector must be socialised (which requires expropriation) and placed under the control of citizens (bank employees and customers, non-profit associations and representatives of local public stakeholders), because it must be subject to the rules of a public service[16] and the revenues it generates must be used for the common good.

The policy applied up until now by the ECB, the other central banks, and governments has brought about a very substantial increase in public debt as a result of several related factors: The cost of rescuing banks; the cost of the crisis, for which the central banks, the governments, the private banks and other major corporations bear the responsibility; the prohibition against allowing States to borrow from the central bank; and the continued fiscal gifts lavished on major corporations and large fortunes. This means that a very large share of public debt is clearly illegitimate. In particular, the public debt contracted to bail out the banks is clearly illegitimate and must be repudiated. A citizen audit must be conducted to determine what other debts are illegitimate, illegal, odious, unsustainable…[17] and bring about a mobilisation so that a credible anti-capitalist alternative can take shape.

In this context, the ECB’s policy is illegitimate, odious, unsustainable and illegal. It is illegitimate because it favours an infinitesimal minority of the population, who are in fact responsible for the crisis and profit from it. It is illegitimate because it harms the overwhelming majority of the population. This policy of the ECB is even more illegitimate given the fact that those who design it are aware of its ongoing failure. In the case of the countries which are subjected to the Memoranda imposed by the Troika, in which the ECB is a central player, this policy is odious because it violates conventions and treaties on human rights (economic, social, civil and political) and is imposed by institutions having no mandate from the people to carry out such acts. This policy is also unsustainable[18] because it leads to the impoverishment of a large part of the population, to the deterioration of public health and education, to increased unemployment, etc. And finally, this policy is illegal because it does not adhere to the Statute of the ECB (to which, by the way, we object). Just as one example, the ECB’s Statute includes no mandate for it to intervene in labour relations. And yet, in an ongoing way, the central bank seeks to dictate modifications to labour legislation.

The ECB’s monetary policy, along with its Statute and its practice, need to be radically altered. The ECB, and the central banks in general, need to be able to finance States directly in order to promote social and environmental goals that guarantee that the fundamental needs of the people are met. Direct financing by the ECB and the central banks is not enough in itself; the financing needs to have a social dimension and serve the general interest. Whereas the USA and the UK finance their debt largely via their central banks[19], that policy cannot be said to be conducted in the interest of the majority of their populations.

Citizen mobilisation and self-management are the condition sine qua non for creating a program for reversing the crisis that is favourable to the people[20]. Without them, there can be no true emancipation from the current crisis.

Translation: Snake Arbusto

Notes

[1] Note that while the failure is obvious in light of the goals officially being pursued, it’s less of a failure if we take agenda hidden of the ECB and European leaders into account. The goal of the European leaders of the strongest countries and the executives of the major corporations, at the current stage of the crisis, is not to stimulate growth and reduce the asymmetries between the strong and weak economies within the EU. In fact they’re happy with the existence of a common economic, commercial and political zone in which they derive profit from the debacle affecting the periphery and from the sacrifices forced on all Europe’s working people to strengthen corporate profitability and gain points in terms of competitiveness. To further the most massive offensive against the economic and social rights of the majority of the population since the Second World War on a European scale, governments and corporate leaders are using several weapons: a strong increase in unemployment; reimbursement of public debt, which has greatly increased; using the pretext of balancing the budget to justify severe cuts in social expenditures and public services; improving the competitiveness of the EU member States among themselves and over their worldwide competitors. From that point of view, the ECB’s policy is not a failure. I’ll return to this in subsequent articles. Also see Bancocratie, Chapter 33.

[3]   Le Monde, “L’arsenal de Mario Draghi contre la déflation” (Mario Draghi’s arsenal against deflation), 6 June, 2014, http://www.lemonde.fr/idees/article/2014/06/06/l-arsenal-de-mario-draghi-contre-la-deflation_4433369_3232.html (in French)

[4] The ECB began reducing its key interest rate in successive steps beginning in 2008. In October 2008 it stood at 3.75%. See: https://www.banque-france.fr/en/economics-statistics/rates/policy-rates.html

[5] These are the rates for 10-year sovereign bonds. The rates charged to other countries as of late June 2014 were 1.75% forFrance, 1.86% forBelgium, 2.75% forSpain, 2.85% forItaly, 3.57% forPoland, 3.60% forPortugal, etc.

[6] I explain this in http://cadtm.org/Banks-bluff-in-a-completely-legal, published 19 June, 2013; http://cadtm.org/Banks-Fudged-health-report, published 23 July, 2013. Also see my book Bancocratie, Aden, Brussels, Chapters 8 and 9. Order at: http://cadtm.org/Bancocratie (in French; English translation to be published by the end of 2014).

[7] Dexia Bank came into existence through the privatisation, during the 1990s, of public funding structures inBelgium andFrance. It is one of the principal actors, since the crisis, of a local-government financing scandal inFrance where it proposed over a hundred – often faulty and/or toxic – financial products to local governmental entities. It has currently been re-nationalised as a rescue measure, under guarantee by the Belgian, French andLuxembourg governments and has twice been bolstered with public money. Several associations, such as ATTAC Belgium and CADTM, have instigated legal actions against this guarantee.

[8]   See the BCE site: “In this longer-term refinancing operation, the rate at which all bids are satisfied is indexed to the average minimum bid rate in the main refinancing operations over the life of the operation,http://sdw.ecb.europa.eu/servlet/desis?node=100000133

[9]In 2013, in Europe, issuance of all types of ABS taken together dropped by 38% compared to 2012 (Financial Times, 18 February, 2014). In four years, the decrease has been more than 80%! (Financial Times, 3 September, 2013).

[11] Quoted in Le Monde, 7 June, 2014

[12] Several speculative bubbles are expanding and threaten to burst: The stock bubble, the commodities bubble, a new real-estate bubble, a sovereign-debt bubble and a corporate-bond bubble, etc. See Eric Toussaint, Bancocratie,Aden,Brussels, 2014, Chapter 38 (English translation to be published by the end of 2014).

[13] Financial Times, “European Corporate buybacks sink to 2009 lows”, 2 November, 2012. The article refers to the Thomson Reuters calculations. According to The Economist, Canadian companies held 300 billion dollars in cash in 2012 – 25% more than in 2008. This phenomenon is visible in all of the highly industrialised countries: In Japan, in 2012, companies held liquidities equivalent to 2,800 billion dollars, or 75% more than in 2007! (The Economist, “Dead money. Cash has been piling up on companies’ balance-sheets since before the crisis”, 3 November, 2012).

[14] See, among others, Financial Times, “Draghi coaxes politicians to take lead in next batch of reforms”, 11 July, 2014.

[15] BIS, 84th Annual Report, 1 April 2013–31 March 2014, Basel, 29 June, 2014, p. 15 http://www.bis.org/publ/arpdf/ar2014e1.pdf

[16] The banking sector should be entirely public except for a small cooperative sector with which it could cohabit and collaborate.

[17] See CAC, Que faire de la dette ? Un audit de la dette publique de la France, May 2014, http://www.audit-citoyen.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/note-dette.pdf (in French). For Belgium see: ACiDe, BRISER LE CERCLE VICIEUX DE LA DETTE ET DE L’AUSTÉRITÉ, (memorandum on citizen audit of debt in Belgium), April 2014, http://www.auditcitoyen.be/wp-content/uploads/memorandum.pdf (in French).

[18] At the economic level, this policy is sustainable from the point of view of capitalists, but is unsustainable from the point of view of human rights.

[19] In recent years, the Fed has purchased more than $2,400 billion in US treasury bonds (in October 2014, the volume of treasury bonds held by the Fed will reach $2,450 billion), which amounts to 18% of the total volume of treasury bonds in circulation. Source: Natixis, EcoHebdo, 25 July, 2014, No. 29, http://cib.natixis.com/flushdoc.aspx?id=78192 Please note that, contrary to wide belief, the Fed does not purchase the treasury bonds directly from the US Treasury, but via open-market operations from private banks who have previously purchased them. See the US legislation in this area: http://www.federalreserve.gov/aboutthefed/section14.htm

[20] For a broad range of proposals see: Eric Toussaint, “Alternatives to reverse the crisis in Europe”, April 2014, http://cadtm.org/Alternatives-to-reverse-the-crisis.

On August 25, 2014, Ri Tong Il, Deputy Ambassador of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to the United Nations held a press conference at the United Nations, announcing that on August 18 the DPRK had presented a letter to the UN Security Council stating:  

“The United States-South Korea joint military exercises, including the ‘Ulji Freedom Guardian,’ are by no means annual or routine exercises of a ‘defensive nature’ but are real combat-like nuclear war games of aggression against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.”

“The ‘Ulji Freedom guardian’ exercises, in particular, are the largest war games in the world.  The military forces involved in its size and nature are enough to carry out a full all-out war with a purpose of occupying Pyongyang, capital of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, according to the war scenario drafted by the United States.  This clearly shows the aggressive nature of the United States-South Korea joint military exercises against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.”  These “exercises” involve Tomahawk missiles, B52s and the George Washington carrier.

“That is why the ‘Ulji Freedom Guardian’ exercises should be regarded as a cancer-like root, which gravely undermines peace and security on the Korean peninsula.  Only when this cancer-like root is removed, peace and security, as well as the denuclearization of the whole Korean peninsula and the normalization of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea-United States relationship will be ensured.  I would like to remind you that I requested the Security Council on 21 July, 2014 (see S/2014/512*) to urgently discuss the question of the United States-South Korea joint military exercises.  However, the Security Council has so far ignored the request of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.”

At his previous press conference, Ambassador Ri described efforts by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to encourage friendly relations with South Korea by facilitating meetings between families in the DPRK who had relatives in South Korea, and this peace initiative agreed to by the governments of both DPRK and South Korea offered the promise and possibility of more substantial and profound agreements between “both” Koreas, first steps which might help eventually lead to reunification of the Korean peninsula.  Ambassador Ri pointed out that at the very moment when the families of North and South were celebrating their reunion, the United States was holding hostile joint military demonstrations with Korea’s neighbors, including with the South Korean military, effectively sabotaging the healing of wounds and constructive possibilities opened up by the warm family reunions.

I asked Ambassador Ri why the United States would deliberately sabotage improved relations between North and South Korea, and he replied that the United States needs an enemy on the Korean peninsula in order to justify its huge military presence in that area, and stated that the U.S. wants to destroy the DPRK and “swallow the Korean peninsula” to use against the Big Power in that region.  Although Ambassador Ri did not mention China explicitly, it was clear that the “big Power” to which he referred could only be China.  China is already menaced by the joint military presence of the trilateral alliance of Japan, South Korea and the United States military forces in very large numbers.

On August 25, Ambassador Ri confirmed that neither the July 21, 2014 letter nor the August 18 letter to the Presidents of the Security Council (Ambassador Gasana, Rwanda, July Presidency;  Ambassador Lyall Grant, UK, August Presidency) had received a reply.  Although China had raised the matter, the Security Council declined to discuss it further.

In view of the multiple sets of crippling and impoverishing sanctions with which the Security Council is crushing the people of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, it would be appropriate and reasonable to at least discuss these concerns which are provoking the DPRK to build a large defensive capacity, which is, in turn being used as a justification for the crippling sanctions.  A reasonable course of action would be to arrange the de-escalation of the DPRK’s  military build-up in direct ratio to de-escalation of the punitive and coercive economic sanctions, which clearly appear to be engineered to bring about the collapse of the DPRK’s socialist economy.

Annex I to the letter dated 18 August 2014 from the Permanent Representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to the United Nations Addressed to the President of the Security Council states:

“The United States has staged a total or more than 18,000 war manoeuvres of various forms for aggression in south Korea for more than six decades since the 1950s, but it claims they have never posed any threat to the north.  But it contends that even a single test-fire and drill of tactical guided-missiles for self-defence conducted by the Korean People’s Army to cope with them should be called into question.  This is the American-style standard and is brigandish logic.”

“Joint military exercises staged in South Korea after the United States announced its new defense strategy are assuming a more aggressive nature, and their scale and frequency are steadily increasing, ranging from the largest-ever joint landing drill aimed to ‘occupy Pyongyang’ to a drill for ‘breaking through the Military Demarcation Line’ all of a sudden, a drill for ‘restoring administrative units after occupying the north’ and a special operation drill for destroying the headquarters of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.”

I asked Ambassador Ri to comment on the recent near-collision (the weekend of August 23, 2014) between Chinese and U.S. jets near Hainan Island.  According to the New York Times, quoting the Chinese Defense Ministry’s spokesman Col. Yang Yujun, “The Chinese naval fighter flew up to identify two American planes – the P-8 Poseidon and P-3 Orion that were carrying out surveillance over the South China Sea about 137 miles east of Hainan Island.”  Colonel Yang said:

“It is large-scale, high-frequency close-proximity surveillance by the United States that endangers Chinese-US maritime and aviation safety, and that is the root cause behind any accidents.”

As a follow-up question I asked Ambassador Ri if there was any connection between the provocative US surveillance jets so close to China’s territory and the joint US-South Korea military “exercises” taking place simultaneously with that dangerous near-collision.

Ambassador Ri replied to my question:

“That is a strategic question.  The United States Secretary of State is calling for regime change in the DPRK.  Their goal is to eliminate the DPRK militarily in order to surround the big country – you know what I mean – in the area.”

Annex 1 of the DPRK letter to the Security Council continues:  “The danger of the tensions on the Korean peninsula at present, together with the United States threat to mount a pre-emptive nuclear strike being rapidly put into practice, lies in that it is disturbing global peace and security far beyond the regional scale.”

“The joint military exercises being staged under the pretext of the ‘threat’ from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea are strictly pursuant to the United States Strategy for world domination and to bring down the social system in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and with an eye to the Asian continent with the Korean peninsula as a bridgehead.  This is a stark reality which no one can deny.”

“The United States armed build-up in northeast Asia, including the Korean peninsula, and the world’s largest war manoeuvres will spark off a new arms race and Cold War.  The threat of one party is bound to trigger off retaliation from the other party, and a war is bound to break out in this course.  This is a lesson that has been taught by history.”

The U.S. military alliances with a newly militarized Japan, south Korea, and other countries of the area constitute a provocation and threat to China, as well as the DPRK.  It is possible that the DPRK’s warning is that of “the canary in the coal mine.”  The severity of this threat is implied in an important essay by Professor Amitai Etzioni, the famous sociologist and senior adviser to former President Jimmy Carter.  Dr. Etzioni’s article is entitled:  “Who Authorized Preparations for War With China,” recently published in the Yale Journal of International Affairs.

Ironically, Ambassador Ri Tong Il’s analysis is almost identical to the thinking of Zbigniew Brzezinski in “The Grand Chessboard;” on page 54 he states:

“A ‘Greater China’ may be emerging, whatever the desires and calculations of its neighbors, and any effort to prevent that from happening could entail an intensifying conflict with China….To put it very directly, how large a Chinese sphere of influence, and where, should America be prepared to accept as part of a policy of successfully co-opting China into world affairs?  What areas now outside of China’s political radius might have to be conceded to the realm of the reemerging Celestial Empire? In that context, the retention of the American presence in south Korea becomes especially important.  Without it, it is difficult to envisage the American-Japanese defense arrangement continuing in its present form, for Japan would have to become militarily more self-sufficient.  But any movement toward Korean reunification is likely to disturb the basis for the continued U.S. military presence in South Korea.

A reunified Korea may choose not to perpetuate American military protection:  that, indeed could be the price exacted by China for throwing its decisive weight behind the reunification of the peninsula.  In brief, US management of its relationship with China will inevitably have direct consequences for the stability of the American-Japanese-Korean triangular security relationship.”

In an inscrutable move that has alarmed state treasurers, the Federal Reserve, along with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, just changed the liquidity requirements for the nation’s largest banks. Municipal bonds, long considered safe liquid investments, have been eliminated from the list of high-quality liquid collateral. assets (HQLA). That means banks that are the largest holders of munis are liable to start dumping them in favor of the Treasuries and corporate bonds that do satisfy the requirement.

Muni bonds fund the nation’s critical infrastructure, and they are subject to the whims of the market: as demand goes down, interest rates must be raised to attract buyers. State and local governments could find themselves in the position of cash-strapped Eurozone states, subject to crippling interest rates. The starkest example is Greece, where rates went as high as 30% when investors feared the government’s insolvency. Sky-high interest rates, in turn, are the fast track to insolvency. Greece wound up stripped of its assets, which were privatized at fire sale prices in a futile attempt to keep up with the bills. across

The first major hit to US municipal bonds occurred with the downgrade of two major monoline insurers in January 2008. The fault was with the insurers, but the taxpayers footed the bill.  The downgrade signaled a simultaneous downgrade of bonds from over 100,000 municipalities and institutions, totaling more than $500 billion. The Fed’s latest rule change could be the final nail in the municipal bond coffin, another misguided move by regulators that not only does not hit its mark but results in serious collateral damage to local governments – maybe serious enough to finally propel them into bankruptcy.

Why this unprecedented move by US regulators? It is not because municipal bonds are too risky, since corporate bonds with lower credit ratings are accepted under the new rules. Nor is it that the stricter standard is required by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS), the BIS-based global regulator agreed to by the G20 leaders in 2009. The Basel III Accords set by the BCBS are actually more lenient than the US rules and do not include these HQLA requirements. So what’s going on?

From the Inscrutable, Unaccountable Fed 

The rule change was detailed by Pam Martens and Russ Martens in a September 4th article titled “The Fed Just Imposed Financial Austerity on the States.” They write that on September 3rd:

The Federal regulators adopted a new rule that requires the country’s largest banks – those with $250 billion or more in total assets – to hold an increased level of newly defined “high quality liquid assets” (HQLA) in order to meet a potential run on the bank during a credit crisis. In addition to U.S. Treasury securities and other instruments backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government (agency debt), the regulators have included some dubious instruments while shunning others with a higher safety profile.

Bizarrely, the Fed and its regulatory siblings included investment grade corporate bonds, the majority of which do not trade on an exchange, and more stunningly, stocks in the Russell 1000, as meeting the definition of high quality liquid assets, while excluding all municipal bonds – even general obligation municipal bonds from states with a far higher credit standing and safety profile than BBB-rated corporate bonds.

This, rightfully, has state treasurers in an uproar. The five largest Wall Street banks control the majority of deposits in the country. By disqualifying municipal bonds from the category of liquid assets, the biggest banks are likely to trim back their holdings in munis which could raise the cost or limit the ability for states, counties, cities and school districts to issue muni bonds to build schools, roads, bridges and other infrastructure needs. This is a particularly strange position for a Fed that is worried about subpar economic growth.

Not Sufficiently Liquid?

In a September 3rd press release, Federal Reserve Governor Daniel K. Tarullo stated that while “most state and municipal bonds are not sufficiently liquid to serve the purposes of HQLA in stressed periods . . . the liquidity of some state and municipal bonds is comparable to that of the very liquid corporate bonds that can qualify as HQLA.” [Cite] Criteria were being developed, he said, for considering these assets. But “it is important to get this final rule adopted now, so that the largest banks can begin to prepare for its implementation on January 1.” In the meantime, muni bonds are in limbo, and it appears that most will still not be accepted as HQLA.

The regulators consider stocks to be more liquid than muni bonds because they are readily traded on the stock market. But as the Martens’ note, stock markets can be quite inaccessible in a crisis. Quoting from the Fed’s own archives on the crash of 1987:

Market makers in the over-the-counter market were not obligated to maintain an orderly market and many withdrew from trading. Delays in processing trades resulted in investors receiving prices very different from what they expected. Many brokers did not answer their phones, leaving investors unable to reach them. Erratic price movements and quotes resulted in frequent lock-ups in the electronic trading system used in the over-the-counter market.

In any case, switching the banks’ holdings from muni bonds to corporate bonds or Treasuries is liable to have little effect in a crash. The stricter rules are supposed to be a defense against bank runs; but in a major derivatives bust and bail-in, the available collateral will go first to the derivatives claimants, through a massive concession to financial institutions in the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 2005. (See my earlier article here.) The FDIC and the depositors are both liable to be out of luck, no matter what form the collateral takes.

The Martens’ conclude:

That the Fed and its regulatory cohorts have to resort to this implausible plan – which crimps the ability of states and localities to raise essential funds to operate – in a strained effort to pretend that they’ve found a means of avoiding another massive bailout of Wall Street in a crisis, is just further proof that the only way to seriously deal with too-big-to-fail banks is to restore the Glass-Steagall Act and break up these complex creatures before they strike again.

Gordon Gekko Goes Muni? 

The rule change may not have much effect in a crash, but where it will have a major effect is on the cost of credit, which will increase for municipal governments and decrease for corporate and financial institutions. The result will be to further shift power and financial resources from the public sector to the private sector.

Why would regulators dangerously jeopardize state and local government budgets in this way? Skeptical observers speculate that the intent is to Detroit-ize municipal governments, so that assets can be stripped as is being done in that imperiled city. The international bankers got away with asset-stripping Greece. Why not make the US itself a wholly-owned subsidiary of private banking interests?

If that seems far-fetched, consider what is happening with Argentina, which has been forced into bankruptcy by a US court to satisfy the exaggerated claims of certain hold-out vulture funds. IMF regulators have discussed establishing an international bankruptcy court that could strip a country such as Argentina of its assets, including prime sections of real estate, to pay off the nation’s creditors.

In the US, there is already a trend to force state and municipal governments into austerity measures, if not outright bankruptcy, in order to eliminate labor unions, pension obligations and social services. Bankruptcies can be involuntary, forced by the creditors who caused them. Detroit is the US model. Michigan’s Constitution protects pensions, so the emergency manager appointed by the governor could not unilaterally cut those funds. But in a municipal bankruptcy, a judge would decide the fate of city workers’ pensions, making it an attractive option for banking interests. The oligarchs have long had their eyes on the massive sums represented by the pension funds.

Public Banks to the Rescue?

Whatever the explanation for the Fed’s game-changing move, the vulnerability of state and local governments to unpredictable and unaccountable federal regulators is another strong argument in favor of forming publicly-owned banks. Why be under the thumb of an erratic privately-owned central bank manipulated by Wall Street megabanks now caught in multiple frauds?

Like Eurozone countries, US states cannot print their own currencies. But unlike Eurozone countries, they can borrow from their own public banks, which can create money as credit on their books just as private banks do.

At least, they could if they had their own banks. Only one state – North Dakota – has currently taken advantage of that option. North Dakota is also the only state to have escaped the 2008 credit crisis, sporting a budget surplus every year since then. It has the lowest unemployment rate in the country, the lowest default rate on credit card debt, and one of the lowest foreclosure rates.

True, North Dakota also has oil. But the 2008 crisis happened before oil and gas had made a significant impact on state revenues; and the state was posting a budget surplus all during that period. Other oil and gas states are not doing so well.

Globally, 40% of banks are publicly owned; and they are largely in the BRIC countries – Brazil, Russia, India and China. These countries also escaped the credit crisis largely unscathed.

If state and municipal governments want to protect themselves from the fate of Greece and Detroit, they would do well to follow North Dakota’s lead and form their own publicly-owned banks. And time is of the essence, if they hope to beat the rush before the first US Cyprus-style bail-in consumes the collateral that local governments are counting on to protect their multi-billions in deposits.

Ellen Brown is an attorney, founder of the Public Banking Institute, and author of twelve books, including the best-selling Web of Debt. In The Public Bank Solution, her latest book, she explores successful public banking models historically and globally. Her 200+ blog articles are at EllenBrown.com.

Leading into another 9/11 anniversary, the normal al Qaeda scare fest is nowhere to be found. This year’s fear-mongering is all about ISIS, and September started by taking the rhetoric up a notch.

Back in August, it was all about how ISIS is tremendously well-funded and like nothing the Pentagon had ever seen and another 9/11 was on the way.

Then we were told an ISIS terror attack on American streets is highly likely; so likely, in fact, that an Imminent Terrorist Attack Warning By Feds on US Border alert was released featuring the possibility that ISIS groups operating out of the Mexican border city of Juarez might attack the U.S. with car bombs, although no specific threats had been received.

Then we were told that there are nearly a dozen jets missing from war-torn Libya which could be used to strike 9/11-like targets.

The new and latest September-fresh talking point is that ISIS is going to attack America’s ‘frail and vulnerable’ electric grid. Frank Gaffney, founder and president of the Center for Security Policy in Washington, has actually given it the monicker “grid jihad.”

Not only that, but they are being VERY specific on exactly how ISIS could commit this act and all the ways it could cripple the country if they did.

At a recent press conference, Dr. Peter Pry, a former CIA officer and head of the task force on National and Homeland Security, went on record that America’s power grid faces an “imminent” attack by ISIS — and the media has run with it.

 “There is an imminent threat from ISIS to the national electric grid and not just to a single U.S. city,” Pry warns. He points to a leaked U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission report in March that said a coordinated terrorist attack on just nine of the nation’s 55,000 electrical power substations could cause coast-to-coast blackouts for up to 18 months.

[…]

“The Congressional EMP Commission, on which I served, did an extensive study of this,” Pry says. “We discovered to our own revulsion that critical systems in this country are distressingly unprotected. We calculated that, based on current realities, in the first year after a full-scale EMP event, we could expect about two-thirds of the national population – 200 million Americans – to perish from starvation and disease, as well as anarchy in the streets.” (source)

Here are just a few of the headlines now coming off the news wire.

Chicago Tribune: “ISIS has changed the game for America”

If ISIS gets a nuclear electromagnetic-pulse device and succeeds in setting it off in America, it could shut down our electric grid and plunge America into the Dark Ages.

KBOI2: “Experts warn of ISIS attack on US power grid”

Washington Examiner: “New ISIS threat: America’s electric grid; blackout could kill 9 of 10″

“Inadequate grid security, a porous U.S.-Mexico border, and fragile transmission systems make the electric grid a target for ISIS,” said Peter Pry, one of the nation’s leading experts on the grid.

[…]

“By one estimate, should the power go out and stay out for over a year, nine out of 10 Americans would likely perish,” said Frank Gaffney, founder and president of the Center for Security Policy in Washington.

WND: “Expert: ‘Imminent’ ISIS threat to U.S. power grid”

Pry surmised such an attack on the U.S. power grid “wouldn’t be difficult for them.”

“There are … open-source computer models where you can figure out which are those nine critical transformer substations where if attacked would take down the whole national power grid,” he said.

“So something like that could be arranged. It could happen tomorrow. It could happen next week.”

So glad he’s busy giving out precise instructions on exactly how to accomplish this. Let’s continue.

International Business Times: “ISIS Will Target the U.S. Power Grid, Former CIA Says; Could Tap Other Fellow Extremist Groups to Do the Job”

“All they’ve got to do is contact the Knights Templar, wire these guys $10 million, I mean they’ll do anything for money. And say, ‘Hey, go across that open U.S. border and take out the electric grid in Arizona, or New Mexico, or Minnesota or New York. Or the entire nation.’”

Oh so knocking out the grid would run them about $10 mil?

KGNS.TV: “Security experts warn about possible ISIS targets in the US”

“Unfortunately, there’s a lot to evidence that enemies of this country have figured out that if you attack that very vulnerable grid, they could cause cataclysmic damage to the American people,” Gaffney said.

Gaffney says the “domino effect” of an attack on the electric grid could reach all corners of the country and be deadly.

“Water requires power, food requires power, transportation requires electricity, finance, telecommunications,” explained Gaffney.

Peter Pry even showed up on Fox to advertise, er, discuss the ISIS electric grid threat:

At this point, all the bases on this scenario have been covered. The only thing they didn’t do was give senior ISIS leadership a tour of a major power plant, complete with fake badges and blueprints as take home souvenirs.

If these experts and reporters have left any detail to the imagination on exactly how ISIS [ a US-Saudi sponsored intelligence asset] could carry this plan out and what precise steps are needed to make it a reality, I’m not sure what that is.

The repeated talking point also seems noteworthy, considering  that one of the last warnings former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano gave to her successor in an ‘open letter’ before heading out the door was that a cyber or physical event that knocks out the power grid will occur – and it was not a question of “if” but “when.”

Melissa Melton is a writer, researcher, and analyst forThe Daily Sheeple, where this first appeared, and a co-creator of Truthstream Media with Aaron Dykes, a site that offers teleprompter-free, unscripted analysis of The Matrix we find ourselves living in. Melissa also co-founded Nutritional Anarchy with Daisy Luther of The Organic Prepper, a site focused on resistance through food self-sufficiency. Wake the flock up!

One wonders how British Prime Minister David Cameron would try to justify his patently criminal statements in front of a war crimes tribunal…

This is how the British press covers the issue of “Going After ISIS” as part of a “Global War on Terrorism”

BBC:  Your former defence spokesman [sic] Liam Fox says that basically we should be joining the Americans in air strikes because it does help those on the ground. You damage supply lines with military power, you destroy bases; and whether that’s in Iraq or in Syria.

PRIME MINISTER CAMERON:  Well, these are all things that should be considered. And we’ve supported the American air strikes up to now, which have been helping to make sure that the Kurds…

Scroll down for selected excerpts:

The Independent, 5 September 2014


The Independent, 6 September 2014

[Editorial note: An accurate list of the "10-nation coalition" is quoted below.]

excerpt from:  Shoulder to shoulder: as Nato sets up a rapid reaction force to defy Russia, a 10-nation coalition to wage war against Isis takes shape.

by Nigel Morris, The Independent, 6 September 2014

The struggle to “destroy” jihadist fighters sweeping across the Middle East could last three years, the United States warned as it sought to assemble a “core coalition” to confront Isis forces. [...]  The “core coalition” –which has echoes of the “coalition of the willing” assembled by George W Bush to invade Iraq in 2003 – is composed of the United States, Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Turkey, Australia, Canada, Poland and Denmark.


Daily Telegraph, 6 September 2014



The Times, 2 September 2014

______________________________________________________________________________________

excerpts from:  Cameron: ‘I won’t rule anything out’ on action against IS

[excerpts transcribed by the author from the audio clip of British Prime Minister David Cameron's interview with BBC Radio 4]

BBC Radio 4 website, 4 September 2014

[emphasis added]

BBC:  Your former defence spokesman [sic] Liam Fox says that basically we should be joining the Americans in air strikes because it does help those on the ground. You damage supply lines with military power, you destroy bases; and whether that’s in Iraq or in Syria.

PRIME MINISTER CAMERON:  Well, these are all things that should be considered. And we’ve supported the American air strikes up to now, which have been helping to make sure that the Kurds…

BBC:  But are you actively considering sending British planes out to join these air strikes?

PRIME MINISTER CAMERON:  As I’ve said, we are not ruling anything out. I think we shouldn’t underplay what Britain has done already. Our Tornado planes and Rivet Joint planes have been flying over this area to help gather information. We’re working with the Americans in what they’ve have done. [...]  It needs to be an entirely joined-up strategy, working with the regional partners, working with those on the ground. What I would call ‘the tough, long-term,intelligent approach’ rather than thinking there is some simple, single intervention that would make the difference.

BBC:  And does that approach also mean having some sort of arrangement with President Assad in Syria so that whatever the ultimate plan is with him, that you are allowed the freedom to strike ISIS in Syria?

PRIME MINISTER CAMERON:  My view is that President Assad is part of the problem rather than part of the solution. If you ask yourself how come Islamic State has managed to establish itself so quickly, part of the answer is Assad’s brutality in Syria gave credence to this group, while the other opposition groups, more democratic and pluralistic, didn’t perhaps get the support they needed. [...]

BBC:  OK, but you’ve got a difficulty here: [...] in Syria you’ve got an air force that can react to you.

PRIME MINISTER CAMERON:  The point of view I would take is that you’ve got to have a long-term view about what you think the right long-term answer is. And it’s the same in Iraq as it is in Syria, which is a democratic, pluralistic government that can look after all of the people in the country and not brutalize a section of them. And I think that sometimes in the past just saying ‘my enemy’s enemy is my friend’ has led us into all sorts of moral quagmires and difficulties.

BBC:  But you’ve got practical hurdles then, serious practical hurdles to overcome [...]  At the moment you’ve got this ISIS, which many people would suggest is a greater threat to the whole region and to us than Assad is.

PRIME MINISTER CAMERON:  [...]  What I am saying is that you’ve got to understand that Assad has been part of the creation of Islamic State rather than being part of its answer.

BBC:  Indeed, but don’t we find ourselves in a strange situation where if Iraq asks for air strikes, they become legal, if Assad asks for air strikes then they become legal in Syria and if he doesn’t, it is illegal?

PRIME MINISTER CAMERON:  I think if you want to talk pure legalities, I don’t think it’s that complicated because, obviously, the Iraqi government is a legitimate government, we believe it is about to become more legitimate with a new Prime Minister with the backing of all of his country; whereas President Assad has committed war crimes on his own people and therefore is illegitimate. So, I think if you want to get into the legalities, I do think there are two different…

BBC:  OK, it is not the legality that is stopping any military action here. You feel, given the way people are behaving in the region, there would be moral and legal justification for doing something, for acting.

PRIME MINISTER CAMERON:  Well, obviously we would never do anything unless there was moral and legal justification for doing something, that needs to be said.

BBC:  That’s what I wondered, does it exist now?

PRIME MINISTER CAMERON:  I think there is something else, as well as moral and legal justification, which is that I think in the past sometimes people have seen Western intervention as something that goes right over the heads of the local people fighting these horrors and over the heads of the regional powers and neighbours. And I think what needs to be done here is to start from the proposition: ‘What more can we do to help those, the Kurds and the Iraqis who are fighting this battle on the ground?’ [...]

The sanctions game of the West versus Russia is taking another notch upwards.  Europe is rumored to announce soon what few believed they would, they are placing sanctions on Russian energy firms Gazprom, Rosneft and Transneft.  I am personally quite surprised Europe would go this far.

What surprises me is their lack of future view.  Any “thinking” person would look into the future and say “OK, if we do this then what will Russia’s response be”?  The response is beyond obvious because Europe is a captive energy customer.  Russia can increase prices if they wish or simply cut back or cutoff the supply entirely.  For the immediate future, Europe has no alternative whatsoever.

Were Russia to disrupt natural gas supply, Europe’s economy will feel it immediately.  Europe is already in a contraction, either higher prices or a constrained supply will be enough to dislodge whatever confidence that’s left.  Yes, winter is coming and some people will be cold or possibly freeze, this is known.  The other side of the coin is Europe’s farmers will not be selling products to Russia so some Russians will go hungry, this is also known.

What is not known but in my opinion but “soon to be found out” is just how strong of a union the Eurozone actually is?  Which country or countries will feel the pinch from these sanctions the worst?  Who needs Russian natural gas more than other countries and which country relies on Russian food purchases more than others?  In my mind, Europe is playing Russian roulette with these additional sanctions and their “unity” is what is at stake.

First, when push comes to shove, who will break from the union and import Russian gas even if done secretly?  I don’t really understand the “sway” the U.S. has throughout Europe to get them to go this far.  As I understand it, Germany was not in favor of the additional sanctions and this does make sense.  They understand the ramifications to them personally and they also must be angry (if not publicly) about the status of nearly half of their gold.  They deposited 1,500 tons of gold with the FRBNY and asked for 300 tons to be returned.  They “accepted” a proposal to send this amount back over 7 years but only received 5 tons in the first year.  (This is my opinion mind you but I do think they probably asked for ALL of it back, time will tell if this is true or not).

Think about this for a moment, would you personally go out of your way to do something injurious to yourself to help or abide a business associate who owes you money but isn’t paying you back?  This, along with common sense may be why Germany does not fully support the further sanctions.  I see many dangers in this last round of sanctions.  At the least, European unity will be tested thoroughly.

As for Russia, the decision to cut, ration or even discontinue the flow of energy will be an easy one.  Russia does have the ability to sell elsewhere and in particular to China.  The Chinese connection is also important in the finance department as they can help fund Russia should she feel the pinch from the credit sanctions.  Another area which no one seems to be mentioning is in regards to the food sanctions.  Couldn’t China just import extra grain or other foods and then turn around and send them to Russia?  Would anyone try to slap China for their commerce with Russia (other of course than the U.S.)?  So they go to the grocery store and buy some extra food which they then sell to Russia …who would know about it and if they did …”what are you going to do about it, they are our friend”?

It is very clear to me that we are willing to push Mr. Putin as hard as is needed to start a war.  Sad to say, I believe this is our “strategy” almost in entirety.  As I mentioned last week, “something needs to be pointed at” as the reason everything fell apart, a World War would certainly do it.  I also believe a break up of the European union would also work.  What will the markets look like were Europe to split into a version of “North and South”?  Or what will happen if there is one or more individual countries who can’t take the heat (or lack of) and decide to break away?  What then happens to the euro currency?  Or Eurobonds?  And then of course the word “ripple effect” takes over.

Looking at this from the most macro view of all, the U.S. is actually pushing Europe to “take sides”.  I am afraid at what the actual outcome is going to be because when all is said and done, we really don’t have anything to offer them.  Actually let me refine this.  Though we may be bribing Eurozone officials to back the sanctions, the average person can and will see this for what it is.  There in my opinion will be a very angry European population hell bent on replacing the scoundrels who went along with these policies.

Just as a reminder, it is important for you to understand the Ukraine coup which occurred during the Olympics last year.  First, Russia held the Olympics and if you remember in your history books, all “war” between competitors stops during the Olympics.  This was so even 2000 years ago.  Who backed the coup?  Who’s government was put in place after the coup?  The answer of course is the U.S., WE broke a 2,000 year tradition if not treaty.  I would also ad I think it is fortunate Mr. Putin obviously does not want war otherwise it would have started long ago.

To wrap this up I think two things are totally clear, Russian ties with China will only be strengthened by these further sanctions.  I also believe Europe’s unity and thus relations with the U.S. are going to be tested to the limit.

The above was written late Sunday, we now have more information as the situation gets more complicated.  First, Europe has been stockpiling natural gas, presumably in anticipation of a future problem with supply. 

I do not believe full storage tanks will last through January if all new supply is cut off.

Second, it now seems Europe as a whole is having second thoughts on these new sanction because as I suspected, there would be a/some defector(s).

It turns out in this case to be Austria not going along with the sanctions.  We now already know that some sort of split is occurring, but then again why wouldn’t it? …Austria is bidding to be a major natural gas hub of Russian gas.  Hard to believe a country might actually do what’s in their best interest isn’t it? …whether you know it or not, you are watching VERY BIG history being made as the sides change and are rearranged.

 Bill Holter is a Miles Franklin associate writer

Thursday, Sept 11, 2014, was the 13th anniversary of the controlled demolitions – by obviously pre-planted high explosive and incendiary cutter charges – of the three World Trade Center skyscrapers 1, 2 and 7. From my and many other’s experiences over the past 13 years, I think that I can predict with a high degree of confidence that there will be no credible coverage by the corporate-controlled media on the known science that has totally disproved the Cheney/Bush administration’s conspiracy theory.

Last week’s Duty to Warn column castigated the afore-mentioned media for continuing the (fragile and provably false) deception by continually referring to what happened as simply “911 attacks”, thus deceiving their readers, viewers and listeners into accepting the notion that it was two planes crashing into two of the towers that allowed the US to risk starting World War III.

The truth of the matter, of course, was that insiders had to orchestrate a much more catastrophic event that involved the actual collapse of the skyscrapers. With simply two planes hitting two of the towers, two brief fireballs, and a few office fires that quickly burned out, the crime scene would have shown that the massive 110 story girders were intact, the buildings intact, and only hundreds of fatalities rather than 3000. In addition the flight recorders would have been recovered intact as well as whatever passengers, if any, had been on the planes (the planes were likely piloted by computer-controlled drones rather than the accused amateur hijackers who couldn’t even fly prop planes).

The evidence is so overwhelming that 9/11 was a false flag op that any legitimate court of law (are there any?) willing to take testimony from the experts would easily determine the falsity of the official version.

A brilliant 5 minute review of 9/11 by James Corbett (http://www.corbettreport.com/about/ and http://globalresearch.ca/) can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuC_4mGTs98, More thorough exposes of 9/11 canhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ddz2mw2vaEg

“Why do otherwise good people refuse to look at (or believe) the evidence?”

What also needs to be examined is the following question:

“Why do otherwise good people refuse to look at the evidence?”

Or, in the situation that might be more likely to be the case, if these good people have actually spent the few hours necessary to adequately examine the evidence,

“why do they then refuse to acknowledge the existence of the evidence that totally disproves the official story that they have somehow come to believe?”

It is easy to understand the reasons why powerful governmental or corporate entities obfuscate certain facts. Their jobs, income, prestige, well-being and personal security (even their lives) may depend on doing what their puppet-masters and paymasters want them to do.  Sometimes it doesn’t even take a direct order; they may know instinctively what to do.

The corporate-controlled media (starting with the publishers, editors and major shareholders) and their well-paid talking heads are in cahoots with the governmental agencies that insist on secrecy and the creation of plausible “sacred” myths (and therefore the intentional deception of the citizenry) if they think the national security (or the health of the stock market) is at stake.

The White House, the Cabinet, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Pentagon, military careerists, CIA, FBI , NSA (and the dozen of other national security agencies), the corporate-controlled politicians, legislators and various other thought leaders take certain “sacred” myths and the necessity for cover-ups of painful truths very seriously.

If a rare person of conscience (who was also in a position of power) chooses to resist the real powers-that-be, as was the case with JFK, MLK, RFK and Senator Paul Wellstone, there would be serious consequences.

Understanding the Motivations of the “Good German” Folks who say “I Wouldn’t Believe That Even if I Knew it Were True”?

But the psychology of why otherwise good people decide to maintain their silence in the face of unwelcome truths has many ramifications, which I will address more thoroughly in a future column. (A great series of articles by psychologist and 9/11 truth-seeker, Francis Shure, entitled “Why Do Good People Become Silent—or Worse—About 9/11?” can be read, starting at: http://www.ae911truth.org/en/news-section/41-articles/821-why-do-good-people-become-silentor-worseabout-911-.html.)

For now, interested readers should consider researching the following psychological realities that will partially explain why the truth about 9/11 is such a taboo subject:

 Cognitive Dissonance: the psychological discomfort one feels when faced with new information that contradicts deeply held beliefs that are now suddenly proved to be false, 

Denial, “Obedience to “ (Stanley Milgram’s seminal book), “1984” and George Orwell’s concept of Doublethink (the capacity to hold two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously and accept them both), 

Groupthink (“running with the pack”), 

DenialConformity, and the fear of challenging a “sacred myth” – and thus being ostracized by the bamboozled majority.

I include below extended excerpts from an important Global Research article written by Elizabeth Woodworth about the serious problem of the silence of most academics and scholars regarding the truth of 9/11. Historically, academics have been allowed – if not encouraged – to be independent, outspoken and courageous thinkers, but, being human and increasingly disempowered members of increasingly corporate-controlled American universities, they are subjected to the same psychological, social, economic and corporate influences as the rest of us.

Woodworth writes about a new documentary titled “9/11 in the Academic Community” which was a prize winner at the 2013 University of Toronto Film Festival. The film was produced and directed by Adnan Zuberi. The trailer can be viewed at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFzVKDdCa6s.

“9/11 Truth” and the Failure of the Academic Community to Explore the Events of September 11, 2001

By Elizabeth Woodworth – Co-Founder of the 911 Consensus Panel (http://www.consensus911.org/)

“Academics have been milquetoasts when it comes to the truth about what really happened on 9/11/01, this century’s first great day of infamy.” – Canadian academic historian Michiel Horn

As the academic year begins, and the 13th anniversary of 9/11 draws near, it seems timely to review this eye-opening documentary about the failure of academia to explore the evidence about the events of September 11.Indeed, there are literally dozens of peer-reviewed science articles challenging the American government narrative about 9/11 that academics simply do not talk about.  These articles stand published in the science literature – for the most part unreported, unexamined, and unrefuted.

9/11 Academic Failure in the Context of Traditional Scientific Publishing

In view of the magnitude of the 9/11 tragedy, and the persistent public doubts about its cause,[1] the scientific academy has been eerily silent.[2] Although many studies questioning the official account have been published in peer-reviewed science and engineering journals,[3] they have not generated debate in the literature, or reports in the media. This is virtually unprecedented, for new scientific research always stimulates a trail of discussion – be it through letters, rebuttals, or further studies.

Two examples of peer-reviewed articles that should have made sensational headlines and stimulated major academic discussion simply faded into obscurity:
  1. An article published in the Journal of Business was reported by econometrician Dr. Paul Zarembkaas showing a 99% statistical probability that high-volume insider trading occurred with American Airlines and United Airlines stocks in the days before 9/11;[4]
  2. A nine-author article published in the peer-reviewed Open Chemical Physics Journal (2009) reported that unreacted nanothermite, which can be tailored to behave as an incendiary (like ordinary thermite), or as an explosive, was found in four independently collected samples of the World Trade Center dust.[5] Nanothermite is a high-tech substance not found in nature, yet there has been no published research follow-up to this landmark article’s astonishing conclusions.
In short, the subject has been untouchable.
Glaring Anomalies in the Government Narrative That Should Have Aroused Academic Concern
This documentary interviews a group of ten current and former Canadian and American university professors[6]about eye-opening contradictions in the official account.
Some of these include:
  1. Ground Zero was the biggest crime scene in US history, yet the telltale steel girders were quickly trucked away before forensic examination could take place.
  2. Originally there was to be no investigation, and only following intense political pressure from the families was an investigation mounted in 2003.
  3. Paradoxically, the 9/11 Commission Report (2004) stated that its purpose was “to provide the fullest possible account of the events,” but “not to assign individual blame.”[7]
  4. Nonetheless the Report accused al Qaeda of responsibility, basing 25% of its supporting footnotes on torture testimony, and providing no spokespersons to represent the accused.
  5. The Executive Director of the 9/11 Commission, Philip Zelikow – a White House insider – framed the Report’s narrative in advance by providing an outline to the findings before the investigation had begun.
  6. The NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) conclusions regarding the collapses of the Twin Towers and WTC7 were based on simplified models that defied Newtonian physics and were in conflict with direct observations.
  7. After seven years of study, NIST granted that free-fall acceleration had taken place in 47-story steel-framed WTC Building 7, which was not hit by an airplane – but could only cite office fires to explain this unprecedented event.

Cultural Pressures to Delegitimize Inquiry into 9/11

How could these extraordinary anomalies have been ignored and overlooked by the academic community? The term “conspiracy theory” was first introduced into common use by the CIA following the publication of the Warren Commission report on the assassination of JFK, when “a public opinion poll recently indicated that 46% of the American public did not think that Oswald acted alone, while more than half of those polled thought that the Commission had left some questions unresolved.” The document, released following a FOIA request in 1976, outlined the CIA’s concern regarding “the whole reputation of the American government.”[8] The term“conspiracy theory,” which had formerly held neutral connotations, began to acquire a derogatory sense that identified certain topics as off limits to inquiry or debate. It has even been referred to as a “weaponized term.”[9]

One of the professors in the film referred to “the spiral of silence,” and another to “thought stoppers” – such as the charge of “conspiracy theory.” A third referred to 9/11 as “one government story that’s untouchable.” Another said that raising the subject in academic circles is somehow forbidden, unmentionable – that it sullies and profanes a person to bring it up.  Sometimes persons who raise it are themselves attacked. Indeed a number of professors who persevered with research were vilified, harassed, and even dismissed for attempting work in this area.

The Fallout from 9/11

Although 9/11 itself has seldom been questioned within the academy, its implications and fallout have been permissible fields of study, and include:

  1. The perpetual, ubiquitous “global war on terror,” starting with the 2001 occupation of Afghanistan, and the loss of billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of lives;
  2. The 2003 occupation of Iraq (believed by many soldiers to have been justified by 9/11), with the further loss of billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of lives;
  3. The ongoing military involvement in Middle East countries such as Libya and Syria;
  4. The fear and mistrust of Muslims caused by the Saudi identities of the alleged hijackers – which has undermined any possibility of global harmony and unification;
  5. The suspension of US constitutional guarantees such as Habeas Corpus and Posse Comitatus(forbidding US army intervention in state and municipal affairs since 1878);
  6. The introduction of electronic surveillance in violation of the US Fourth Amendment (1789) – confirmed in 1967 as applying to electronic surveillance as a violation of  “the reasonable expectation of privacy”;
  7. Inconvenience and congestion in air travel worldwide.

It is uncanny that in spite of these horrific impacts, the academic community has remained silent about the trigger event itself – barring a few courageous professors who have researched the glaring incongruities of 9/11 and the subsequent violations of international law. As mentioned above, these people have met with derision, discipline, and even dismissal.

In summary:  30-40% of the population suspects that 9/11 was a false flag operation, constituting a state crime against democracy. Rather than exploring the evidence that is visible in plain sight, most of the academy simply looked the other way. One can only hope that the academy will reverse its position and work to remove the long shadow it has helped to cast over 21st century human civilization.

A winner at the University of Toronto Film Festival, “9/11 in the Academic Community” has been widely hailed as essential viewing. Here are a few quotes from academicians:

“This documentary confronts the academy’s uncritical response to the defining event of our times.” – Lance deHaven-Smith, Florida State University Professor of Public Policy

“Canadian academic historian Michiel Horn has observed that as a rule, professors are milquetoasts. This film also documents exceptions to Horn’s rule: professors with guts enough to raise critical questions.” – Kenneth Westhues, Member, Society for Academic Freedom and Scholarship

“Academic freedom protects scholars who report inconvenient truths from the uninformed, but, as Adnan Zuberi reminds us, academic freedom is also the responsibility of scholars to pursue the truth.” – Dr. Roger W. Bowen, General Secretary of the American Association of University Professors

“I find it troubling that so few men and women who work in our universities—and there are credible exceptions—have seriously engaged with the question of what actually happened on 9/11 and why.There are so many holes and limitations in the official version that it calls out for rigorous intellectual fact-finding and analysis.” – Alvin A. Lee, President Emeritus, McMaster University

This film reveals a new pathology that infests our society, in which it is taboo for even academics to pursue politically disturbing truths.  Let us hope that the film will continue to open the way for more open discourse on 9/11, and the overwhelming body of research that contradicts the official narrative.

Notes 

[1] A Scripps Howard/Ohio University poll showed in 2006 that “more than a third of the American public suspects that federal officials assisted in the 9/11 terrorist attacks or took no action to stop them so the United States could go to war in the Middle East.” “Third of Americans suspect 9-11 government conspiracy,” Thomas Hargrove, August 8, 2006 (http://www.aldeilis.net/english/nj/012.pdf.)

[2] A “9/11 Research Guide” from Florida International University lists only government reports, film and media, and fictional resources. http://libguides.fiu.edu/content.php?pid=242646&sid=2003753.

[3] The following articles are peer-reviewed journal papers that address issues surrounding the day of 9/11/2001 from a critical perspective. Academics are encouraged to take an interest in 9/11 research. (http://911inacademia.com/journal-papers/.)  See also: The 9/11 Consensus Panel, “Evidence-Based Literature Sources Opposing The Official Story of September 11” (http://www.consensus911.org/references-evidence-based/).

[4] Allen M. Poteshman, “Unusual Option Market Activity and the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001,”Journal of Business, 79 (2006): 1703-26. Two subsequent financial articles provided further evidence of insider trading, but these econometric investigations have not been challenged in any professional or governmental responses.  (http://www.consensus911.org/point-g-2/).

[5] Niels H. Harrit, Jeffrey Farrer, Steven E. Jones, Kevin R. Ryan, Frank M. Legge, Daniel Farnsworth, Gregg Roberts, James R. Gourley, and Bradley R. Larsen, “Active Thermitic Material Observed in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe,” The Open Chemical Physics Journal, 2009, 2: 7-31 (http://www.benthamscience.com/open/tocpj/articles/V002/7TOCPJ.htm).

[6] Dr. David MacGregor, Prof. Sociology, Univ. Western Ontario; Dr. Michael Truscello, Asst. Prof. English, Mt. Royal Univ., Dr. Graeme MacQueen, Prof. Emeritus Religious Studies, McMaster Univ., Dr. Richard Lee, Prof. Emeritus Anthropology, Univ. of Toronto; Dr. John McMurtry, Prof. Emeritus Phil. at Guelph Univ., Dr. Walter Pitman, Former President of Ryerson Univ. and Order of Canada; Dr. Omar M. Ramahi, Prof. Electrical and Computer Engineering, Univ. of Waterloo; Dr. Paul Zarembka, Prof. Economics, SUNY, Buffalo; Dr. Robert Korol, Prof. Emeritus Civil Engineering, McMaster Univ., Dr. Lynn Margulis (1938-2011) was a Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Geosciences at the University of Massachusetts. More information at: (http://911inacademia.com/cast/).

[7] The 9/11 Commission Report, 2004, p. xvi (http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report.pdf).

[8] CIA, “Concerning Criticism of the Warren Report,” CIA Document #1035-960  (http://www.jfklancer.com/CIA.html).

[9] “’Conspiracy Theory,’ Foundations of a Weaponized Term,” James F. Tracy, Global Research, January 22, 2013 (http://www.globalresearch.ca/conspiracy-theory-foundations-of-a-weaponized-term/5319708?print=1).

In a four-day standoff pitting human rights groups and organized labor against Israeli shipping giant Zim, the giant was defeated today in Vancouver, Canada.  

The huge container ship Zim Djibouti first docked at the high-tech Deltaport facility on September 5, only to discover that the workers had agreed to respect a picket line set up by human rights advocates.  The coalition of picketers, under the name Block the Boat Vancouver, were trying to prevent the unloading and loading of the ship, as a solidarity protest against Israel’s 47-year blockade of the port of Gaza and the recent Israeli attack on Gaza that killed more than 2000 Palestinians, mostly civilians, as well as 72 Israelis, almost all soldiers.

The ship then returned to open water along the Pacific coast and stayed there several days, until midnight last night.  At that time it set course for Port Angeles, on the US side of the passage to Vancouver.  By unloading at an unexpected US port, the company apparently hoped to circumvent the blockade.

It didn’t work.  Perhaps the logistics of arranging passage by land through another country for the hazardous cargo on board was too much, or perhaps the docking facilities were inadequate for the huge ship, but it turned back and returned to the open sea.  At the time of this report, it has still failed to declare a new destination and arrival time.

This is a huge victory for the Vancouver coalition, undoubtedly costing Zim enormous sums in fuel, delays, and having to carry excess cargo to unintended destinations, impeding the other operations.  It also continues the string of Block the Boat actions at ports on the US west coast that began with the August picket in Oakland, California of another Zim ship that ended with similar results.

Let’s all congratulate Vancouver and encourage ports all over the world to refuse Israeli ships and ships from Israeli companies.  Customers will have to think twice about using an Israeli line for their cargo, as delivery becomes less certain.  Hopefully this is just the beginning of a world wide campaign against Zim and all other Israeli shipping, until Israel reconsiders its policy of blocking all shipping to and from Gaza.

On 05 September, Amnesty International, a non-governmental organisation focused on human rights, published “Ukraine: Mounting evidence of war crimes and Russian involvement”http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/ukraine-mounting-evidence-war-crimes-and-russian-involvement-2014-09-05

Analysis of the 738-word Amnesty article reveals clear bias in the NGO’s reporting on the conflict in Eastern Ukraine. Amnesty makes more than twice the effort to place blame for human rights abuses and possible war crimes on separatist forces and “Russian troops” (380 words) than on Ukrainian government forces (140 words).

Amnesty explicitly accuses separatists of “torture,” a major criminal offense under international law. Amnesty makes no mention of “torture” in association with the regular Ukrainian armed forces or those designated ‘bad apples,’ the Aidar Battalion.

Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, states unequivocally:

“Our evidence shows that Russia is fuelling the conflict, both through direct interference and by supporting the separatists in the East. Russia must stop the steady flow of weapons and other support to an insurgent force heavily implicated in gross human rights violations.”

The evidence presented to support these accusations is a “series of satellite images commissioned by Amnesty International.” The images appear to have been provided by a non-profit organization called The American Association for the Advancement of Science. According to its website, AAAS analyzes high-resolution satellite images collected by “publicly accessible commercial satellites.” In other words, the images come from the United States.

Shetty delivers the punchline:

“The Kremlin has repeatedly denied any involvement in the fighting in Ukraine, but satellite imagery and testimony gathered by the organization provide compelling evidence that the fighting has burgeoned into what Amnesty International now considers an international armed conflict.”

Predictably, Amnesty has declared what complicit NATO officials and compliant mainstream media have long been insisting, without the benefit of evidence: Russia has ‘invaded’ Ukraine.

On 07 September, Amnesty published a briefing on “Abuses and war crimes by the Aidar Volunteer Battalion in the north Luhansk region.” The briefing contained carefully worded language that depicts the Ukrainian government forces as lawful actors, the ‘good guys’ in the conflict:

“The Ukrainian authorities cannot afford to replicate in the areas they retake, the lawlessness and abuses that have prevailed in separatist-held areas. The failure to eliminate abuses and possible war crimes by volunteer battalions risks significantly aggravating tensions in the east of the country and undermining the proclaimed intentions of the new Ukrainian authorities to strengthen and uphold the rule of law more broadly.”

The coup regime in Kiev is throwing its most aggressive and abusive Nazi volunteer battalions under the bus to preserve its image. The very forces that enabled the Yatsenyuk junta seize and hold power in Kiev in February are being sacrificed as the requisite ‘few bad apples,’ thereby freeing the mainstream media to focus all its attention on the ‘real’ baddies: “Russian troops” that support “an insurgent force heavily implicated in gross human rights violations” in Eastern Ukraine, according to Amnesty.

On 08 September, Amnesty published an article declaring that “Ukraine must stop ongoing abuses and war crimes by pro-Ukrainian volunteer forces.” Amnesty’s statements appear to be part of a dedicated effort to insulate the regular Ukrainian armed forces from accusations of abuses and possible war crimes, which may include Ukrainian Air Force responsibility for the 17 July downing of Malaysia Air flight MH-17.

Ukrainian Air Force Mig-29 “Fulcrum” and Su-27 “Flanker” jet fighter aircraft have dominated the skies over Eastern Ukraine since the early days of Kiev’s ‘anti-terrorist operation.” The separatist forces have no aircraft and no functioning surface-to-air missile systems capable of striking aircraft above 11,000 feet. No Russian Federation combat aircraft have flown over Eastern Ukraine.

Mig-29 and Su-27 both have service ceilings near 60,000 feet and are easily capable of high speed combat maneuvers at MH-17′s reported cruising altitude of 33,000 feet. Both jet aircraft are armed with the GSh-301 single-barreled, recoil operated 30mm cannon, which alone is capable of causing explosive decompression in a commercial passenger airliner. In combination with a laser rangefinding/targeting system, the GSh-301 is a powerful and extremely accurate weapon, capable of destroying a target with as few as three to five rounds. The gun’s maximum effective range against aerial targets is 200 to 800 m.

Ukrainian combat aircraft losses in Eastern Ukraine include one MiG-29 shot down near the village of Zhdanivka, 40 kilometres northeast of Donetsk, on 7 August 2014; and one MiG-29 shot down near Luhansk on 17 August 2014. No Su-27 combat losses have been reported so far.

Romanian military expert, pilot and former deputy commander of Otopeni military airport, Valentin Vasilescu, commented on the report about the investigation of the reasons of the Boeing-777 crash in Ukraine.

1. “The available images show that the pieces of wreckage were pierced in numerous places. The pattern of damage to the aircraft fuselage and the cockpit is consistent with that which may be expected from a large number of high-energy objects that penetrated he aircraft from outside”.

Vasilescu: A I said in an interview for Pravda.Ru: “MiG-29 of the Ukrainian army are armed with GSh-301, 30-millimeter gun, with a rate of 1,500 rounds per minute. The gun was loaded with 150 shells containing tungsten alloy. These shells go through targets, leaving traces of perfectly circular shape. They do not explode inside the cockpit, they are not incendiary, but can kill the crew and destroy the cockpit, which can be seen in the presence of holes with their edges opening outside on the opposite wall”. In tape cartridges for the gun GSh-301, 30-millimeter gun inserts also a few explosive-incendiary shells, which explodes inside the cockpit, producing fragments with high velocities that get out of the fuselage of aircraft in the cockpit area, like shrapnels produced by detonation of the warhead of a surface-to-air missile. The gun shots were fired by an experienced fighter pilot, who targeted only the cockpit. This is demonstrated by the fact that the section of fuselage aft of the cockpit remained intact. There were no holes that could have been caused by shrapnels.

Also read: Boeing-777 was shot down by Ukrainian MiG-29

2. “Boeing 777-200 broke up in the air probably as the result of structural damage caused by a large number of high-energy objects that penetrated the aircraft from outside… Aircraft engine parameters were consistent with normal operation during the flight”.

Vasilescu: “The Malaysian Boeing MH-17 was shot down from a gun of a MiG-29 aircraft, rather than a missile. In this case air-to-air missiles are equipped with heat seekers that target the most heated part of the aircraft, i.e. the engines. The crashed Boeing had the cockpit destroyed”. There was no damage of the engines of the Boeing till the wings (where engines are located) before the plane hit the ground. There was no thick plume or white condensation at an altitude of ten kilometers from the surface, which should have been left from the launch of an air-to-air missile.

3. “It’s likely that this damage resulted in a loss of structural integrity of the aircraft, leading to an in-flight break up”.

Vasilescu: “The death of the crew and the depressurization of the cockpit made the Boeing spin instantly, and the plane fell apart at an altitude of two thousand meters. The plane, as shown by black boxes, collapsed in the air, but this is only possible in case of a horizontal nosedive from the height of ten thousand feet, when the maximum speed limit is exceeded. If the plane spins, the crew is very often unable to control the aircraft. Instantaneous depressurization of the cockpit may also occur”.

4. “The cockpit voice recorder, the flight data recorder and data from air traffic control all suggest that flight MH17 proceeded as normal until 13:20:03 (UTC), after which it ended abruptly… A full listening of communications among the crew members in the cockpit recorded on the cockpit voice recorder revealed no signs of any technical faults or an emergency situation.”

Vasilescu: “If such a large aircraft like Boeing-777 of Malaysia Airlines had been hit by surface-to-air missile, the crew would have been able to warn traffic control services of the situation on board. But we do not see anything like that in registers.” In addition, the MH-17 was flying on heading118°. Fighter airplane MiG-29 was approaching to fire its guns in the perpendicular direction to flight MH-17 (118 + 90 = 208). This corresponds to the direction of the sun at 16:21 local time. Nobody in the media has touched upon one basic thing related to Boeing 777. Flight controls of the pilot are transmitted to the cabin with electric circuits being like fly-by-wire. The crew cannot control the airplane, in case of destruction of the transmission elements which commands the rudder and the stabiliser, both placed in the tail of the aircraft. Short circuit in the electrical system in the cockpit, as a result of gun fire, disabled the transponder and the radio station.

At the press conference of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation of July 21, 2014, Chief of General Staff and Chief of the Air Force, Lieutenant General Andrey Kartopolov and Igor Makushev proved the existence of a Ukrainian aircraft that would have stopped the fight of Malaysia Airlines, three minutes before the accident, estimating the distance that separated him from Malaysia Airlines to 3-5 km.

But the Doc. 4444 (Air-Procedures Rules for Air Navigation Services) issued by the International Organization of Civil Aviation, Article 7.4.4 indicates that the minimum distance allowed between two aircraft is based on their turbulence. The Boeing 777 (weight 299,370 kg) belongs to the category of aircraft heavy (H – Heavy). Between this category of airplanes and fighter jet like MiG-29 (weight 10-20 t), Doc. 4444 requires air traffic controllers should create a gap of at least 9.3 km. Was it a mistake or a deliberate action of air traffic controllers of Ukraine and the Ukraine fighter aircraft 3 km far from flight MH-17? When the Boeing 777 was shot down, it was at 30 miles from Tamak navigation point, in the process of transferring flight control from the control region of Dnepropetrovsk (which is responsible for the airspace in eastern Ukraine) to the control region of Rostov-on-Don (the beginning of Russian airspace).

The same Document 4444, Chapter 7.5 (transfer of radar control) obliges agencies of Ukrainian civil and military air control traffic (ACT) to a minimum distance that allows the separation of radar between the flight MH-17 and Ukrainian fighter jet, enough to ensure the safety transfer of the civilian aircraft to the Russian ACT. According Document 4444, the normal separation for category H aircraft, followed by fighter jet is at least 11.1 km (fig. VI-VI-1A and 1B).

The Ukrainians shot down the plane, when the Boeing was being delivered by the Ukrainian ACT to the Russians ATC.

Thanks to the evidence presented clearly, civil and military Ukraine authorities were perhaps cooperating to shoot down Flight MH-17 from a Ukraine fighter aircraft. Why does the ICAO and Eurocontrol hide this flagrant violation of the rules of navigation? Before the pilot of the fighter jet could aim and open fire on the cockpit section of the B-777, which is a section six meters long, from the total length of 64.8 m, the B-777 was supposed to enter whole into the fighter pilot’s line sight. The sighting device automatically makes calculations giving the pilot all necessary parameters for projectiles that hit the fuselage of flight MH-17. The best way to hit the cockpit was to approach almost perpendicular to the direction of flight MH-17. In this caseб the pilot of the fighter jet had the right conditions to get ready to fire from the distance of 900 m at B -777. If the approach speed of the Ukrainian jet fighter was about 280-300 meters per second, the repetition of the attack was impossible, and the Ukraine fighter pilot had 3-4 seconds for all these maneuvers. This could be a result of dozens of hours of training in simulators and flight conditions similar to those when flight MH-17 was shot down.

The end goal of the US and NATO is to divide (balkanize) and pacify (finlandize) the world’s biggest country, the Russian Federation, and to even establish a blanket of perpetual disorder (somalization) over its vast territory or, at a minimum, over a portion of Russia and the post-Soviet space, similarly to what is being done to the Middle East and North Africa.

The future Russia or the many future Russias, a plurality of weakened and divided states, that Washington and its NATO allies see is/are demographically in decline, de-industrialized, poor, without any defensive capabilities, and hinterlands that will exploited for their resources.

The Plans of the Empire of Chaos for Russia

Breaking the Soviet Union has not been enough for Washington and NATO. The ultimate goal of the US is to prevent any alternatives from emerging in Europe and Eurasia to Euro-Atlantic integration. This is why the destruction of Russia is one of its strategic objectives.

Washington’s goals were alive and at work during the fighting in Chechnya. They were also seen in the crisis that erupted with EuroMaidan in Ukraine. In fact, the first step of the divorce between Ukraine and Russia was a catalyst for the dissolution of the entire Soviet Union and any attempts at reorganizing it.

The Polish-American intellectual Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was US President Jimmy Carter’s national security advisor and an architect behind the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, has actually advocated for the destruction of Russia through gradual disintegration and devolution. He has stipulated that «a more decentralized Russia would be less susceptible to imperial mobilization». [1] In other words, if the US divides Russia up, Moscow would not be able to challenge Washington. In this context, he states the following: «A loosely confederated Russia—composed of a European Russia, a Siberian Republic, and a Far Eastern Republic—would find it easier to cultivate closer economic regulations with Europe, with the new states of Central Asia, and with [East Asia], which would thereby accelerate Russia’s own development». [2]

These views are not merely constrained to some academic’s ivory tower or to detached think-tanks. They have the backing of governments and have even cultivated adherents. One reflection of them is below.

US State-Owned Media Forecasts the Balkanization of Russia

Dmytro Sinchenko published an article on September 8, 2014 about dividing Russia. His article is titled «Waiting for World War III: How the World Will Change». [3] Sinchenko was involved in EuroMaidan and his organization, the Ukrainian Initiative «Statesmen Movement» (Всеукраїнської ініціативи «Рух державотворців»), advocates for an ethnic nationalism, the territorial expansion of Ukraine at the expense of most the bordering countries, reinvigorating the pro-US Georgia-Ukraine-Azerbaijan-Moldova (GUAM) Organization for Democracy and Economic Development, joining NATO, and launching an offensive to defeat Russia as part of its foreign policy goals. [4] As a note, the inclusion of the word democracy in GUAM should not fool anyone; GUAM, as the inclusion of the Republic of Azerbaijan proves, has nothing to do with democracy, but with counter-balancing Russia in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

Sinchenko’s article starts by talking about the history of the «Axis of Evil» phrase that the US has used to vilify its enemies. It talks about how George W. Bush Jr. coined the phrase in 2002 by grouping Iraq, Iran, and North Korea together, how John Bolton expanded the Axis of Evil to include Cuba, Libya, and Syria, how Condoleezza Rice included Belarus, Zimbabwe, and Myanmar (Burma), and then finally he proposes that Russia be added to the list as the world’s main pariah state. He even argues that the Kremlin is involved in all the conflicts in the Balkans, Caucasus, Middle East, North Africa, Ukraine, and Southeast Asia. He goes on to accuse Russia of planning to invade the Baltic States, the Caucasus, Moldova, Finland, Poland, and, even more ridiculously, two of its own close military and political allies, Belarus and Kazakhstan. As the article’s title implies, he even claims that Moscow is intentionally pushing for a third world war.

This fiction is not something that has been reported in the US-aligned corporate networks, but is something that has been published directly by US government-owned media. The forecast was published by the Ukrainian service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, which has been a US propaganda tool in Europe and the Middle East that has helped topple governments.

Chillingly, the article tries to sanitize the possibilities of a new world war. Disgustingly ignoring the use of nuclear weapons and the massive destruction that would erupt for Ukraine and the world, the article misleadingly paints a cozy image of a world that will be corrected by a major global war. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and the author are essentially saying that «war is good for you» to the Ukrainian people and that some type of utopian paradise will emerge after a war with Russia.

The article also fits very nicely into the contours of Brzezinski’s forecast for Russia, Ukraine, and the Eurasian landmass. It forecasts the division of Russia whereas Ukraine is a part of an expanded European Union, which includes Georgia, Armenia, the Republic of Azerbaijan, Belarus, Israel, Lebanon, and Denmark’s North American dependency of Greenland, and also controls a confederation of states in the Caucasus and the Mediterranean Sea—the latter could be the Union for the Mediterranean, which would encompass Turkey, Syria, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, and the Moroccan-occupied Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic or Western Sahara. Ukraine is presented as an integral component of the European Union. In this regard, Ukraine appears to be situated in a US-aligned Franco-German-Polish-Ukrainian corridor and Paris-Berlin-Warsaw-Kiev axis that Brzezinski advocated for creating in 1997, which Washington would use to challenge the Russian Federation and its allies in the CIS. [5]

Redrawing Eurasia: Washington’s Maps of a Divided Russia

With the division of the Russian Federation, Radio Free Europe’s/Radio Liberty’s article claims that any bipolar rivalry between Moscow and Washington would end after World War III. In a stark contradiction, it claims that only when Russia is destroyed will there be a genuine multipolar world, but also implies that the US will be the most dominant global power even though Washington and the European Union will be weakened from the anticipated major war with the Russians.

 

Accompanying the article are also two maps that outline the redrawn Eurasian space and the shape of the world after the destruction of Russia. Moreover, neither the author nor his two maps recognize the boundary change in the Crimean Peninsula and depict it as a part of Ukraine and not the Russian Federation. From west to east, the following changes are made to Russia’s geography:

• The Russian oblast of Kaliningrad will be annexed by Lithuania, Poland, or Germany. One way or another it will become a part of an enlarged European Union.

• East Karelia (Russian Karelia) and what is currently the federal subject of the Republic of Karelia inside Russia’s Northwestern Federal District, along with the Federal City of St. Petersburg, Leningrad Oblast, Novgorod Oblast, the northern two-thirds of Pskov Oblast, and Murmansk Oblast are split from Russia to form a Finnish-aligned country. This area could even be absorbed by Finland to create a Greater Finland. Although the oblast of Archangel (Arkhangelsk) is listed as a part of this partitioned area in the article, it is not included in the map (probably due to a mistake in the map).

• The southern administrative districts of Sebezhsky, Pustoshkinsky, Nevelsky, and Usvyatsky in Pskov Oblast from the Northwestern Federal District and the westernmost administrative districts of Demidovsky, Desnogorsk, Dukhovshchinsky, Kardymovsky, Khislavichsky, Krasninsky, Monastyrshchinsky, Pochinkovsky, Roslavlsky, Rudnyansky, Shumyachsky, Smolensky, Velizhsky, Yartsevsky, and Yershichsky, as well as the cities of Smolensk and Roslavl, in Smolensk Oblast from the Central Federal District are joined to Belarus. The Smolensk Oblast’s Dorogobuzhsky, Kholm-Zhirkovsky, Safonovsky, Ugransky, and Yelninsky districts appear to be portioned further in the map as the new border between Belarus and the proposed amputated Russia.

• The North Caucasian Federal District of Russia, which is comprised of the Republic of Dagestan, the Republic of Ingushetia, the Kabardino-Balkar Republic, the Karachay-Cherkess Republic, the Republic of North Ossetia–Alania, Stavropol Krai, and Chechnya, is separated from Russia as a European Union-influenced Caucasian confederation

• The South Federal District of Russia, which is constituted by the Republic of Adygea, Astrakhan Oblast, Volgograd Oblast, Republic of Kalmykia, Krasnodar Krai, and Rostov Oblast, is completely annexed by Ukraine; this leads to a shared border between Ukraine and Kazakhstan and cuts Russia off from the energy-rich Caspian Sea and a direct southern frontier with Iran.

• Ukraine also annexes the oblasts of Belgorod, Bryansk, Kursk, and Voronezh from Russia’s most heavily populated federal district and area, the Central Federal District.

• Siberia and the Russian Far East, specifically the Siberian Federal District and the Far Eastern Federal District, are torn off from Russia.

• The text states that all of the territory in Siberia and most of the territory in the Russian Far East, which are comprised of the Altai Republic, Altai Krai, Amur Oblast, the Republic of Buryatia, Chukotka, the Jewish Autonomous Oblast, Irkutsk Oblast, Kamchatka Krai, Kemerovo Oblast, Khabarovsk Krai, the Republic of Khakassia, Krasnoyarsk Krai, Magadan Oblast, Novosibirsk Oblast, Omsk Oblast, Primorsky Krai, Sakha Republic, Tomsk Oblast, the Tuva Republic, and Zabaykalsky Krai either turn into several Chinese-dominated independent states or, alongside Mongolia, become new territories of the People’s Republic of China. The map categorically draws Siberia, most the Russian Far East, and Mongolia as Chinese territory. The exception to this is Sakhalin Oblast.

• Russia loses Sakhalin Island (called Saharin and Karafuto in Japanese) and the Kurile Islands, which constitute Sakhalin Oblast. These islands are annexed by Japan.

On his own webpage, Sinchenko posted his Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty article days earlier, on September 2, 2014. The same maps, which are accredited to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, are also present. [6] There, however, is an additional picture on Sinchenko’s personal webpage that is worth noting; this is a picture of Russia being cheerfully carved out for consumption as a large meal by all the bordering countries. [7]

Mapping a New World Order: The World After World War III?

The second map is of a post-World War III globe that is divided into several supranational states. Japan is the only exception. The second map and its supranational states can be described as follows:

• As mentioned earlier, the European Union is expanded and has control over its peripheries in the Caucasus, Southwest Asia, and North Africa. This is the realization of NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue and Partnership for Peace at the political and military levels and the European Union’s Eastern Partnership and Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (the Union for the Mediterranean) at the political and economic levels.

• The United States forms a North American-based supranational entity that includes Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, the Guianas (Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana), and the entire Caribbean.

• All the countries that are not swallowed by the US in South America will form their own supranational entity in a lesser South America, which will be dominated by Brazil.

• Some type of Southwest Asian bloc or supranational entity will be formed out of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Yemen.

• Some type of a supranational entity will be formed in the Indian sub-continent or South Asia out of India, Sri Lanka (Ceylon), Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar (Burma), and Thailand.

• There will be a supranational entity in Australasia and Oceania that will include the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia, East Timor, Papa New Guinea, New Zealand, and the islands of the Pacific. This entity will include Australia and be dominated by Canberra.

• Aside from North Africa, which will be controlled by the European Union, the rest of Africa will unify under the leadership of South Africa.

• An East Asian supranational entity will include most of the Russian Federation, Indo-China, China, the Korean Peninsula, Mongolia, and post-Soviet Central Asia. This entity will be dominated by the Chinese and dominated from Beijing.

Although Radio Free Europe’s article and two post-World War III maps can be dismissed as fanciful notions, some important questions have to be asked. Firstly, where did the author pick up these ideas? Were they transmitted through any workshops supported by the US and the European Union indirectly? Secondly, what informs the author’s visions of a post-World War III political landscape?

The author has essentially catered to Brzezinski’s outline of a divided Russia. The text and the maps have even included the areas of North Africa, the Middle East, and the Caucasus that the European Union views as a secondary periphery or layer to itself. These areas are even shaded with a lighter blue than the darker blue used to identify the European Union.

Even if Radio Free Europe is dismissed; no one should lose sight of the fact that Japan still lays claim to Sakhalin Oblast and the US, European Union, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia have been supporting separatist movements in both the Federal Southern District and the North Caucasian District of the Russian Federation.

Ukrainianism

The Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty article radiates with traces of Ukrainianism, which is worth briefly mentioning.

Nations are constructed, because they are all dynamic communities that, in one way or another, are constructed and kept together by the collective of individuals that make societies. In this regard they can be called imagined communities.

There are machinations at play to deconstruct and reconstruct nations and groups in the post-Soviet space and Middle East. This can be called the manipulation of tribalism in sociological and anthropological jargon or, in political jargon, the playing out of the Great Game. In this context, Ukrainianism has particularly been supportive of anti-government elements and anti-Russian nationalist feelings in Ukraine for more than one hundred years, firstly under the Austrians and Germans, later through the Poles and British, and now under the US and NATO .

Ukrainianism is an ideology that seeks to reify and enforce a new collective imagining or false historic memory among the Ukrainian people about them always being a separate nation and people, in both ethnic and civic terms, from the Russian people. Ukrainianism is a political projection that seeks to deny the historic unity of the Eastern Slavs and the geographic roots and historic context behind the distinction between Ukrainians and Russians. In other words, Ukrainianism seeks to de-contextual and to forget the process that has led to the distinction of Ukrainians from Russians.

***

Russia has always arisen from the ashes. History can testify to this. Come what may, Russia will be standing. Whenever all the diverse people of Russia are united under one banner for their homeland, they have shattered empires. They have survived catastrophic wars and invasions and have outlived their enemies. Maps and borders may change, but Russia will remain.

NOTES

[1] Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives (NYC: Basic Books, 1997), p.202.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Дмитро Сінченко [Dmytro Sinchenko], «В очікуванні Третьої світової війни. Як зміниться світ,» [«Waiting for World War III: How the World Will Change»], Радіо Вільна Європа/Радіо Свобода [Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty], September 8, 2014.

[4] Всеукраїнської ініціативи «Рух державотворців,» [Ukrainian Initiative «Statesmen Movement»] «Стратегія зовнішньої політики,» [Foreign Policy Strategy] Рух Державотворців: втілимо мрії в життя [Statesman Movement: Chasing Dreams/Visions]. Accessed September 9, 2014.

[5] Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard, op. cit., pp.85-86

[6] Дмитро Сінченко [Dmytro Sinchenko], «В очікуванні Третьої світової війни. Як зміниться світ,» [«Waiting for World War III: How the World Will Change»], Дмитро Сінченко (Блоґ) [Dmytro Sinchenko {blog}], September 2, 2014.

[7] Ibid.

Hot on the heels of a much publicised article in the New Yorker that set out to attack Vandana Shiva comes another on the Scroll.in website (on September 3). Girish Shahane mounts an attack on Shiva and what he believes to be her false and misleading statements about farmer suicides in India (access the article here). Shahane deems it necessary to question Shiva’s qualification as a scientist, claiming she has never been one. He says this could be overlooked if she was scientific in her approach to farmer suicides, but he claims that her approach is anything but scientific.

According to Shahane, Shiva adopts a non-scientific, ideologically-driven, anti-GMO stance, which is symptomatic of the environmentalist movement. Apparently, this approach rests on a conspiracy theory in which “the bad capitalist corporation dominates everything, corrupts everything.”

When it comes to the safety of GMOs, he argues that ‘greens’ reject the scientific consensus out of hand (a non-existent consensus, he might like to make note of, alongside his many other misleading claims). Shahane then proceeds to tarnish ‘the left’ as “irrational” and provides an example of the “irrationalist left” and the folly of its ideology by talking about “one tragic instance of the lunatics taking over the asylum in a large country.”

In what appears to be an attempt to draw a comparison with anti-GMO campaigners’ resistance to science and progress, the instance he refers to is what happened in South Africa under Thabo Mbeki. According to Shahane, 330,000 South Africans perished as a direct result of Mbeki’s crackpot leftist ideas that rejected the established scientific consensus about the cause of AIDS, insisting it was dictated by white corporations bent on exploiting blacks just as colonialists had done.

Shahane argues Mbeki’s misplaced ideological view on AIDS typifies the “irrationalist left.” Apparently, the “irrationalist left” regards science as racist, patriarchal, imperialist, capitalist and anti-nature.

The message from Shahane is that anti-GMO campaigners are irrational, are ignoring scientific consensus on GMOs and are letting their conspiracy theories and ideology stand in the way of progress; if the likes of Shiva and others of her ilk do not ditch their irrational fears and Mbeki-type anti-capitalist lunacy, we are in danger of turning our backs on the potential wonders of GMOs given to us by Monsanto.

The pro-GMO lobby likes to portray environmentalists and anti-GMO campaigners as Luddites, anti-science and as enemies of the poor, while the likes of Monsanto are depicted as working in the ‘public interest’ to bring a frontier technology to the masses.

(At this point, it must be stated that commercial companies exist [are legally obliged] to maximise profit for shareholders. Yes profit not altruism or the public interest is the bottom line. Millions of dollars have been taken out of Indian agriculture and found their way to Monsanto’s HQ in St. Louis thanks to the royalties paid by poor Indian farmers on GM patented seeds.)

Shahane also lays into irrational Europeans who supposedly latch onto Shiva’s shock-effect statements about GMOs, mass farmer suicides and Monsanto to justify their own phobia about GM food.

I am European. I question the efficacy and health and environmental impacts of genetically modified food. Therefore, according to Shahane, I am exhibiting a phobia. By the way, a phobia is “an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something” (oxforddictionaries.com).

And how does Shahane reach this conclusion?

By talking to two of his European ‘companions’, who appear to be a little confused, according to him, about the nature of farmer suicides in India, which they apparently put down to distress resulting from the introduction of Monsanto’s GM crops (cotton). Too much listening to the crackpot ideas of Vandana Shiva seems to be the implication.

Shahane says that Europeans distrust GMOs and that the European fear of “Frankenstein food” is perfectly understandable in terms of the phobia phenomenon. Apparently, ‘our’ (Europeans that is) attitude to GM food is irrational and our national policies are based on vague fears rather than sound science.

Europeans seek GMO-related horror stories to justify our beliefs or “phobias,” according to Shahane. He argues that no other story does the job as well as the tale of poor Indians driven to suicide by the “evil Monsanto corporation.” Our irrational fear of GMOs is given added impetus by the scaremongering, anti-capitalist, anti-science stance of Vandana Shiva.

What Girish Shahane should know but appears not to

Europeans do not need to listen to Vandana Shiva to be aware that GMOs constitute a systemic health risk to entire populations. We do not need shock-horror tales of mass suicide to fuel genuine concerns.

Shahane’s article lacks credibility on many levels, one of which is foolishly resorting to the claim that Europeans exhibit a phobia over GMOs. He might like to acquaint himself with what Europe’s approach to GMOs is based on: the precautionary principle. This implies there is a good chance that GMOs may pose widespread harm to the entire population if released for public consumption [1]. There is enough evidence to suggest that this could be the case [2,3,4]. As the risk is systemic, adequate testing should thus be carried out before GMOs are sanctioned.

Europeans and their governments have genuine concerns based on science, not phobias about GMOs fuelled by Vandana Shiva. It is not science per se that anti-GMO campaigners reject, as Shahane would like us all to believe, but the use and distortion of science for commercial gain. If anything, it is the pro-GMO lobby that appears to have scant regard for science.

Shahane seems to be big on ‘sound’ science, implying that the GMO biotech sector’s approach to GM food is based on it, whereas anti-GMO campaigners pick and choose their science to match their ideology. According to the sociologist Robert Merton, science involves research that is not distorted by vested interests, its discoveries should become the common property of all and its finding should be open to rigorous scrutiny (organised sceptism). GMO sector science is seriously wanting in all of these areas.

Shahane should consider that the GMO biotech sector rakes in millions from its GM patented seeds and attempts to control the ‘science’ around its products by carrying out inadequate, secretive studies of its own, placing restrictions on any independent research into its products and censoring findings that indicate the deleterious impacts of its products [4]. It has also faked data [5], engages in unjustified often personal attacks on scientists who reach conclusions not to its liking [6,7] and carries out (unapproved / illegal) open-field testing, resulting in the contamination of non-GMO crops [8]. Regulatory bodies accept at face value claims from the biotech sector about its products [9] and co-opted politicians or officials spout misleading claims and falsehoods about GM food in order to further the sector’s objectives [10,11].

The sector cannot demonstrate that yields are better, nutritional values are improved, health is not damaged or that harm to the environment does not occur with the adoption of GMOs. Given the systemic risk of GMOs, the onus of proof should be on the sector prior to releasing GMOs onto the commercial market.

Independent studies and evidence, not inadequate industry funded or back ones, have indicated yields are often worse and herbicide use has increased [12,13,14], health is negatively impacted [15,16], soil is damaged [17] and biodiversity is undermined [18], among other things.

Shahane thinks people with concerns about GMOs choose only certain studies to suit their stance (as opposed to the GMO sector funding studies to suit its commercial interests?). If the studies I reference (in this and dozens of my other articles on GMOs) show one thing, it is that there is clearly NO scientific consensus on GMOs, despite what he likes to suggest.

He might also like to take note of how the GMO biotech sector has infiltrated regulatory bodies [19,20] is attempting to use the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership to get its unwanted products into Europe via the ‘back door’ [21] and also weaken current robust regulatory measures [22]. He might also like to know how the notion of ‘sound’ science is being corrupted and used by the US to stifle debate [23].

Shahane’s attack on Shiva, environmentalists and the ‘irrational left’ is based on the notion that rational debate and science should be paramount. Given the actions of the sector as outlined above, there seems little scope for open debate and scientific discourse. There is no room for Merton’s lofty scientific ideals in the world of the pro-GMO lobby. Secrecy, intimidation, the co-optation of officials and the hijack of regulatory bodies take precedence.

Shahane points out the GM food crops are dominant in US agriculture. He seems to mention that in order to force home the point of Europeans having baseless fears about GMOs. In the US, GM food was released onto the commercial market without proper long-term tests. In effect, there is a ‘let’s hope for the best’ approach in terms of the population’s health. The argument used to justify this is GM food is ‘substantially equivalent’ to ordinary food. Again, there is no room for science here: substantial equivalence is not based on scientific reason, which Shahane seemingly places great store by; it is a trade strategy on behalf of the GM sector that served to remove its GMOs from the type of scrutiny usually applied to potentially toxic or harmful substances [24]).

Actual science shows that GM food is not ‘substantially equivalent’; recent studies highlight this in terms of their harmful content [24]. Genetically engineered food is produced by white-coated scientists in a laboratory, and the GMO biotech sector wants a mass release of GM food onto the market more or less at once. It is not gradual but dramatic.

Shahane should know that the reason why the precautionary principle does not apply in the US is not down to ‘sound’ science but due to the power and political influence of the GMO biotech sector. Now that sector is attempting to force its GM food into Europe and undermine the precautionary principle.

Moreover, people’s attitudes towards the GMO sector’s most powerful corporation are not based on ideology but on hard evidence. There are extremely good reasons as to why millions of people do not trust Monsanto. It has a history of criminality, health-damaging cover ups and environmental contaminations that would lead most informed people to regard Monsanto as having less than altruistic motives and even complete contempt for ordinary people [25]. Again, it is not knee-jerk ideology that drives negative depictions of Monsanto: that company’s record speaks for itself.

This is not the place to defend Vandana Shiva. She is capable of defending herself. But when Shahane talks of people with genuine concerns about GMOs basing their arguments on irrationality, phobias, ideology, etc, and ridiculously uses MBeki to scaremonger about the ‘irrational left’ and mass deaths and then somehow draw a link between that and the actions of anti-GMO activists and their hand in a potential genocide by denying farmers an income and hungry consumers food, his reasoning must be held to account.

Shahane’s view constitutes a simplistic and misleading representation of those who are concerned about GMOs. He constructs his own straw man position of what he perceives anti-GMO campaigners to be so he can then proceed to knock it down. In doing so he displays his own irrationalism, ideology and lack of informed insight into the issues. He would do well to encourage the GMO biotech sector to engage in open and non-coercive debate and inject some rationalism into his own position. He would also do well to contemplate what the underlying motives of the GMO sector really are when much evidence suggests we do not even need GM food in the first place [26-31].

Notes

The IMF’s New Cold War Loan to Ukraine

September 10th, 2014 by Michael Hudson

Image: Prof. Michael Hudson’s latest book

In April 2014, fresh from riots in Maidan Square and the February 22 coup, and less than a month before the May 2 massacre in Odessa, the IMF approved a $17 billion loan program to Ukraine’s junta. Normal IMF practice is to lend only up to twice a country’s quote in one year. This was eight times as high.

Four months later, on August 29, just as Kiev began losing its attempt at ethnic cleansing against the eastern Donbas region, the IMF signed off on the first loan ever to a side engaged in a civil war, not to mention rife with insider capital flight and a collapsing balance of payments. Based on fictitiously trouble-free projections of the ability to pay, the loan supported Ukraine’s hernia currency long enough to enable the oligarchs’ banks to move their money quickly into Western hard-currency accounts before the hernia plunged further and was worth even fewer euros and dollars.

This loan demonstrates the degree to which the IMF is an arm of U.S. Cold War politics. Kiev used the loan for military expenses to attack the Eastern provinces, and the loan terms imposed the usual budget austerity, as if this would stabilize the country’s finances. Almost nothing will be received from the war-torn East, where basic infrastructure has been destroyed for power generation, water, hospitals and the civilian housing areas that bore the brunt of the attack. Nearly a million civilians are reported to have fled to Russia. Yet the IMF release announced: “The IMF praised the government’s commitment to economic reforms despite the ongoing conflict.”[1] A quarter of Ukraine’s exports normally are from eastern provinces, and are sold mainly to Russia. But Kiev has been bombing Donbas industry and left its coal mines without electricity.

This loan is bound to create even more dissension among IMF staff economists than broke out openly over the disastrous $47 billion loan to Greece – at that time the largest loan in IMF history – prompted a 50-page internal document leaked to the Wall Street Journalacknowledging that the IMF had “badly underestimated the damage that its prescriptions of austerity would do to Greece’s economy.” staff economists blamed pressure from eurozone countries protecting their own “banks [that] held too much Greek government debt. … The IMF had originally projected Greece would lose 5.5% of its economic output between 2009 and 2012. The country has lost 17% in real gross domestic output instead. The plan predicted a 15% unemployment rate in 2012. It was 25%.[2]

The IMF’s Articles of Agreement forbid it to make loans to countries that clearly cannot pay, prompting its economists to complain at last year’s October 2013 annual meeting in Washington that their institution was violating its rules by making bad loans “to states unable to repay their debts.” In practice, the IMF simply advances however much a government needs to bail out its bankers and bondholders, pretending that more austerity enhances the ability to pay, not worsen it. Ukraine looks like a replay of the Greek situation with an exclamation mark! One official last year called its Debt Sustainability Analysis, “‘a joke,’ a [European] commission official described it ‘a fairy tale to put children to sleep’ and a Greek finance ministry official said it was ‘scientifically ridiculous.’”[3]

John Helmer’s Dances with Bears calculates that “of the $3.2 billion disbursed to the Ukrainian treasury by the IMF at the start of May, $3.1 billion had disappeared offshore by the middle of August.”[4] This raises the question of whether the IMF’s loan is legally an “odious debt,” being made to a military junta and stolen by government insiders. The IMF acknowledged that the central bank was simply turning money over to the kleptocrats who run the country’s banks as part of their conglomerates (as well as funding the government’s military attack on the East, largely on behalf of the leading kleptocrats behind the Maidan coup). “The proportion of government securities and loans to banks increased from 28 percent of NBU total assets at end-2010 to 56 percent at end-April 2014.” The financial situation is getting so much worse that to stave off insolvency, Ukraine’s leading banks are reported to need another $5 billion over and above the IMF’s $17 billion commitment.

In preparation for October’s scheduled elections, the eastern provinces are in no condition to vote, and the junta has banned the Communist party as well as TV and media reporting that it does not like (mainly in the Russian language). The leading pro-war parties are polling very low even in the West (as of early September), prompting warnings of a coup by the Right Sector and allied neo-Nazi Ukrainian nationalists, headed by the oligarch Igor Kolomoyskyy, who fields his own private army.

A defeat in war frequently leads to regime change. The spectre of a coup is once again roaming the streets and squares of Kyiv. Surviving National Guard fighters are threatening to turn their weapons on Poroshenko. A third Maydan [Independence Square protest movement] is taking shape, which is to sweep aside the present regime. The instigators of this Maydan are militants from the punitive battalions created with Kolomoyskyy’s money. It is obvious that the oligarch is playing his game against Poroshenko. Subordinate to him Kolomoyskyy has quite a strong private army capable of carrying out a coup.[5]

IMF and US-backed privatization plans for Ukraine

Ukraine’s main problem is that its debt is denominated in dollars and euros. There seems only one way for Ukraine to raise the foreign exchange to repay the IMF: by selling its natural resources, headed by gas rights and agricultural land. Here the shadowy figure of Kolomoyskyy resurfaces, with support from the United States. Recent Senate Bill 2277 “directs the U.S.

Agency for International Development to guarantee loans for every phase of the development of oil and gas” in Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia.

Vice President Joe Biden’s son, R. Hunter Biden, recently was appointed to the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian oil and gas company registered in Cyprus, long a favorite for post-Soviet operators. The firm has enough influence over Kiev politics to make prospective gas-fracking lands a military objective. “Ukrainian troopers help installing shale gas production equipment near the east Ukrainian town of Slavyansk, which they bombed and shelled for the three preceding months, the Novorossiya news agency reports on its website citing local residents. Civilians protected by Ukrainian army are getting ready to install drilling rigs. More equipment is being brought in, they said, adding that the military are encircling the future extraction area.”[6]

One report notes the extent to which “pro-Russian” means opposing a gas grab:

The people of Slavyansk, which is located in the heart of the Yzovka shale gas field, staged numerous protest actions in the past against its development. They even wanted to call in a referendum on that subject. … Countries like the Czech Republic, the Netherlands and France have given up plans to develop shale gas deposits in their territories. Not only them but also all-important Germany, which two weeks ago announced it would halt shale-gas drilling for the next seven years over groundwater pollution concerns.[7]

U.S. and IMF backing seems intended to help reduce European dependence on Russian gas so as to squeeze its balance of payments. The idea is that lower gas revenues will squeeze Russia’s ability to maneuver in today’s New Cold War. But this strategy involves a potentially embarrassing U.S. alliance with Kolomoyskyy, reportedly the major owner of Burisma via his Privat Bank. He “was appointed by the coup regime to be governor of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, a south-central province of Ukraine. Kolomoysky also has been associated with the financing of brutal paramilitary forces killing ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine.”[8] The term “ethnic Russian” is a kakaism for local protest against fracking by kleptocrats privatizing the economy’s natural resource wealth.

It will be expensive to restore power and water facilities that have been destroyed by the Kiev forces in Donetsk, which faces a cold dark winter. Kiev has stopped paying pensions and other revenue to the Eastern Ukraine, all but guaranteeing its separatism. Even before the Maidan events the local population sought to prevent gas fracking, just as Germany and other European countries have opposed it.

Also opposed is the appropriation of land and other properties by Ukrainian kleptocrats and especially foreigners such as Monsanto, which has invested in genetically engineered grain projects in Ukraine, seeing the country as Europe’s Achilles Heel when it comes to resisting GMOs. A recent report by the Oakland Institute, Walking on the West Side: the World Bank and the IMF in the Ukraine Conflict, describes IMF-World Bank pressure to deregulate Ukrainian agricultural land use and promote its sale to U.S. and other foreign investors. The World Bank’s Investment Finance Corporation (IFC) has “advised the country to ‘delete provisions regarding mandatory certification of food in the listed laws of Ukraine and Government Decree,’” and “to avoid ‘unnecessary cost for businesses’” by regulations on pesticides, additives and so forth. [9]

Yet neither Russia nor many European countries accept genetically engineered foods. It would seem that the only way Ukraine can export GMO crops is if U.S. diplomats pressure Europe to drop its GMO labeling. This would drive yet another wedge between the United States and European NATO members, much as U.S. pressure to impose sanctions on Russia (“Let’s you and him fight”) has done.

U.S. stratagems to save Ukraine from having to pay its debts to Russia

The “inner contradiction” in the IMF loan is that Ukraine owes the entire amount to Russia for gas arrears and current needs as winter nears, and also for the euro loan by Russia’s sovereign wealth fund on strictly commercial terms with cross-defaults if Ukrainian debt rises above 60 percent of GDP. The U.S. Cold War response is to try to craft a legal argument to minimize payments to Russia out of IMF and NATO “reconstruction” lending. The Peterson Institute for International Economics has floated a proposal by former Treasury official Anna Gelpern to deprive Russia of legal means to enforce its claims on Ukraine. “A single measure can free up $3 billion for Ukraine,” she proposed. Britain’s Parliament might pass a law declaring the $3 billion bond negotiated by Russia’s sovereign wealth fund to be “foreign aid,” not a real commercial loan contract worthy of legal enforcement. “The United Kingdom can refuse to enforce English-law contracts for the money Russia lent,” thereby taking “away creditor remedies for default on this debt.”[10]

The problem with this ploy is that Russia’s sovereign wealth fund lent Ukraine euros with strict financial protection aimed at limiting the country’s overall debt to just 60 percent of its GDP. If debt rises above this level, Russia has the right to demand full immediate payment, triggering cross-default clauses in Ukraine’s foreign debt.

As recently as yearend 2013, Ukraine’s public debt amounted to just over 40 percent – a seemingly manageable $73 billion. But in view of the fact that Ukraine had only a B+ rating – below Russian sovereign fund normal limit of requiring at least an AA rating for bond investments – Russia acted in a prudent financial way by inserting protection clauses precisely to distinguish its investment from general purpose aid. Unlike foreign aid, Russia’s loan gives it “power to trigger a cascade of defaults under Ukraine’s other bonds and a large block of votes in any future bond restructuring. This is because all of the government’s bonds are linked among themselves. When one bond defaults, the rest can do the same.”

What the U.S. Government classifies as foreign aid also typically takes the form of loans to be repaid, and insists on matching funds in local currency, e.g. for Public Law 480 food exports. Congress insisted already during the Kennedy Administration that the U.S. balance of payments, and specifically its farm exports, must benefit from any such “aid.”[11]

Waging civil war is expensive, and Ukraine’s currency is rupturing. The black market exchange rate already is reported to have plunged by one-third. If recognized officially (once the kleptocrats have moved their money out at IMF-supported hernia rates), this would raise the country’s debt/GDP ratio to the 60 percent threshold making the debt to Russia payable immediately.

“Governments do not normally sue one another to collect their debts in national courts,” Prof. Gelpern points out. But if this should occur, thepari passu rule would prevent some debts from being annulled selectively. She therefore raises another possibility for how to prevent IMF and NATO credit from being paid to Russia for its bondholdings and gas arrears. Ukraine may claim that its debt to Russia is “odious.” This applies to situations where “an evil ruler signs contracts that burden future generations long after the ruler is deposed.” She adds that “Repudiating all debts incurred under Yanukovich would discourage lending to corrupt leaders.”

The double standard here is that instead of labeling Ukraine’s entire series of post-1991 kleptocratic governments odious, she singles out only Yanukovich, as if his predecessors and successors are not equally venal. But an even greater danger in trying to declare Ukraine’s debt “odious”: It may backfire on the United States, given its own support for military dictatorships and kleptocracies.

In contrast to IMF loans to support the kleptocrats’ banks and new Cold War asset grab from the Eastern border provinces with Russia, Ukraine’s sale of bonds to Russia’s sovereign debt fund and its contracts signed for gas purchases were negotiated by a democratically elected government, at prices that subsidized domestic industry and also household consumption. Unlike the case with Greece, there was no removal of a national leader to prevent a public referendum from taking place over whether to approve the loan or not. If the Ukrainian debt is deemed odious, what of Eurozone loans to Ireland and Greece or U.S. loans to Argentina’s generals installed under Operation Condor? Gelpern acknowledges that Ukrainian refusal to pay the bonds by invoking the odious debt principle “is fraught with legal, political and market risks, all of which would play into Russia’s hands.” Indeed!

This leaves the most promising solution to hurt Russia to be the above-mentioned ploy for Britain’s Parliament to pass a sanctions law invalidating “the Yanukovich bonds.” Such a sanctions law would reduce Russia’s “ability to profit from selling the debt on the market” simply by denying Russia legal rights to grab Ukrainian assets. It also would destroy London as a leading global financial center.

Gelpern concludes her paper by suggesting a universal principle: that contracts “used to advance military and political objectives … should lose their claim to court enforcement.” I love this suggestion! It certainly would open a can of worms in view of the fact that “[t]he United Kingdom and the United States have both used military force in the past to collect debts and influence weaker countries. Is it legitimate for them to punish Russia for doing the same?” Are not the vast majority of inter-governmental debts either military or political in character?

On this logic, shouldn’t most inter-governmental debts be wiped out? Do not Gelpern’s arguments cited for not paying Russia serve even more to provide a legal basis for nullifying Ukraine’s debt to the IMF and subsequent NATO loans on terms that force it to forfeit its natural resource rights for gas and land to foreign investors?

Prof. Gelpern’s legal review ostensibly seeking reasons to isolate Russia economically thus has the seemingly ironic effect of showing the legal and political difficulties in trying to achieve this. If Ukraine borrows from the IMF and/or EU, and then breaks up – with the East becoming independent – who will be obliged to pay? Certainly not the East, attacked by the military coup leaders.

So we are brought back to this month’s financial news in preparation for next month’s IMF annual meeting: Where then does the Ukrainian loan leave the IMF’s credibility?

Michael Hudson’s book summarizing his economic theories, “The Bubble and Beyond,” is available on Amazon. His latest book is Finance Capitalism and Its Discontents.  He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, published by AK Press. He can be reached via his website, [email protected]

Notes

[1] Reuters, “IMF approves loan tranche for Ukraine, warns of risks,” August 29, 2014.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/08/29/us-ukraine-crisis-imf-idUSKBN0GT23Z20140829

[2] Matina Stevis, “IMF Admits Mistakes on Greece Bailout,” Wall Street Journal, June 5, 2013.

[3] Matina Stevis, “IMF and Europe Part Ways Over Bailouts,” Wall Street Journal, October 12, 2013.

[4] John Helmer, “Ukraine Takes Another $1.39 Billion from International Monetary Fund–$3 Billion in IMF Cash Already Sent Offshore–Insiders Suspected in Heist,” Dances with Bears,http://johnhelmer.net, September 3, 2014.

[5] Marina Perevozkina and Artur Avakov, Moskovskiy Komsomolets, September 4, 2014, from Johnson’s Russia List, September 6, 2014 #14. They add that Putin has ordered Kolomoyskyy’s property in Crimea and Moscow to be sequestered.

[6] PEU report, July 27, 2014, “USAID to Help Young Biden: The Burisma File,” citing an Economic Policy Journal article.http://peureport.blogspot.com/2014/07/usaid-to-help-young-biden-burisma-file.html. The report adds: “Further supporting the ‘natural gas motive’ is the fact that it was Vice President Joe Biden who demanded that President Yanukovych pull back his police on Feb. 21, a move that opened the way for the neo-Nazi militias and the U.S.-backed coup. Then, just three months later, Ukraine’s largest private gas firm, Burisma Holdings, appointed Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, to its board of directors.”

[7] Tyler Durden
 “Biden’s son a director in shale gas firm set to drill in East Ukraine,” Truthstream Media, July 27, 2014, Zero Hedge.

http://truthstreammedia.com/bidens-son-a-director-in-shale-gas-firm-set-to-drill-in-east-ukraine/

[8] Robert Parry, “The Whys Behind the Ukraine Crisis,” Consortiumnews.com, September 3, 2014.

[9] http://www.oaklandinstitute.org/press-release-world-bank-and-imf-open-ukraine-western-interests

Press Release: The World Bank and the IMF Open up Ukraine to Western Interests, Monday, July 28, 2014.

[10] Anna Gelpern, “Debt Sanctions Can Help Ukraine and Fill a Gap in the International Financial System,” Peterson Institute for International Economics, Policy Brief PB14-20, August 2014.http://www.piie.com/publications/interstitial.cfm?ResearchID=2654.

[11] I provide a profuse documentation of U.S. self-interest in The Myth of Aid (Orbis Books 1970) and Super Imperialism (1972). Gelpern accuses Russia of seeking to keep Ukraine “on a short leash,” as if this is not what the IMF and indeed most financial investors do. US/NATO anti-Russian policy is filled with such double standards, and it is reflected in IMF support for Ukraine.

The Ukraine Crisis Remains Unresolved. Will the Cease Fire Hold?

September 9th, 2014 by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

Some Western commentators interpret the cease fire in Ukraine obtained by President Putin as a victory for Russia. The reasoning is that the cease fire leaves Ukraine with disputed borders, which rules out Ukraine’s membership in NATO. 

 But will the cease fire hold?  The right-wing Kiev militias, whose members often wear nazi insignias, are not under Kiev’s complete control.  These militias can easily violate the cease fire, and there are already reports of violations. Moreover the billionaire oligarch that Washington has installed in Kiev as president of Ukraine will violate the ceasefire on Washington’s orders, unless, of course, Putin has put the fear of God in him.

To a military strategist the Russian response to the trouble that Washington has caused Russia in Ukraine, longer a part of Russia than the US has existed, is a mystery. Russia lost Ukraine because of its weakness when the Soviet Union collapsed, and Washington forced Russia to permit an independent Ukraine, which served Washington’s purpose of breaking up the Russian Federation.

 The western Ukrainians, who fought for Hitler during World War II, maintained an impressive lobby organization in Washington and secured their independent country, but they did not control Ukraine because much of the country consists of former Russian territories made part of Ukraine by Soviet leaders in the 20th century.

 Blood ties from intermarriage over centuries and tied economic interrelationships between Russia and Ukraine achieved over centuries essentially left Ukraine as part of Russia, where it has resided for centuries.

This frustrated the World Empire Neoconservatives, who have controlled the US government since the corrupt Clintons, whose regime brought Third World corruption into American political life.  Remember Robert Reich, Clinton’s university friend and Secretary of Labor who resigned from Clinton’s cabinet on principle. Clinton betrayed the constituency that elected him, as did Obama.  Clinton’s two-timed wife, allied with Zionist Israel, the banksters, and the military/security complex, is the Democrats’ current favorite for their next presidential nominee.

 As it was in Rome, dynasties are now the sources of US presidential leadership.  And as it was in Rome, the US is on the path to destruction, which occurs when the ambitions of leaders take precedence over the fate of the country.

Keeping Ukraine out of NATO is no doubt a goal of the Russian government.  However, the trouble that Washington brought to Russia in Ukraine–by orchestrating a coup, installing a puppet government, and unleashing violence against the residents of the former Russian territories that Soviet leaders attached to Ukraine–is being used for wider purposes than to incorporate Ukraine within NATO.

In other words, Washington’s strategic goals go beyond NATO membership for Ukraine.

One goal is to break apart the economic and political relationships between Europe and Russia.  By using Ukraine to demonize Russia, Washington has pushed the European Union into imposing sanctions on Russia that disrupt the trade relationships and create distrust.

 The distrust serves Washington’s purpose. Washington has demonstrated to Russia that Washington’s bought and-paid-for European politicians are unwilling to have foreign policies independent of Washington’s.  Europe’s lack of an independent policy means that the Russian government is hampered in its use of diplomacy.

 Another  Washington goal is to build up military forces on Russia’s borders.  NATO has used the “crisis” to stoke fear of Russia in the Baltics and in Poland.  Washington and NATO generals speak of Russian attacks as if it is a foregone conclusion that Russia intends to invade Eastern Europe.  To protect against the “Russian threat,” NATO has created a “quick reaction force” and is building up supplies of military equipment and new bases on Russia’s borders.  Whatever the outcome in Ukraine, Washington has used Ukraine to start a new Cold War.

 The Western presstitute media, a collection of government propagandists, has misrepresented the situation in Ukraine from the beginning.  In place of news coverage, there has been propaganda against Russia.  Consequently, Western peoples who rely on the media are misinformed about Ukraine and place all blame on Russia.  The fact that the American people are misinformed makes it easy for Washington to continue to orchestrate events to Russia’s disadvantage.

Washington has no interest in resolving the troubles in Ukraine.   Washington has successfully used Ukraine to create fear of Russia both in Europe and in the United States. Washington has successfully used Ukraine to damage European-Russian economic and political relations, and Washington has succeeded in starting a new Cold War that will keep profits flowing into the US military/security complex.

As the Kiev government is Washington’s puppet, there is no reason to expect a resolution of the conflict that Washington brought to Ukraine and to Russia.

 It is not only Washington that rejects a resolution of the Ukrainian difficulties created by Washington, but also the EU. Washington’s puppet, Herman Van Rompuy, President of the Washington front group–the European Council–announced, if news reports are correct, which they seldom are, that the European Union is imposing sanctions on the Russian energy firms Rosneft, Gazpromneft and Transneft as well as state-run companies with  turnover of more than $27 billion a year.

The Russian response to this audacity should be to turn off the gas in the winter without warning.  All of it.  As Putin’s interest is to separate Europe from Washington’s control, this would do it.  All of East and West Europe and Ukraine would be on their knees in Moscow begging for the energy to be turned back on.  All Putin would have to say is
“only non-NATO members get gas.”

 That would bring an end to Washington’s assault on Russia.

The American neoconservatives, a deranged cadre of warmongers, are denouncing Obama for “weakness” for not sending troops to Ukraine.  The neocons, who have involved the US since the Clinton regime in costly and failed US military aggressions abroad, claim that Obama’s leadership has resulted in NATO loosing its will and its muscle.

 It remains for the Russian government to demonstrate that all muscle over Ukraine and Europe resides in Moscow.

¿Porque el silencio del Vaticano sobre Ucrania?

September 9th, 2014 by Oscar Fortin

En el momento en que Ucrania esta al centro de una gran confrontación verbal y sanciones entre Occidente (entender Estados Unidos, la Unión europea, OTAN) y Rusia, el Vaticano se queda silencioso. Mas aún, mientras los Ucranios del Sur-este están sometidos a bombardeos criminales de parte del gobierno de Kiev, que los muertos se cuentan por centenares, los heridos por miles, los expatriados por centenares de miles de personas y que las populaciones se encuentran en condiciones inhumanas de vida, el Vaticano se cuida para no llamar la atención sobre esas condiciones inhumanas que se vive en esta región de Ucrania. La crisis en Irak ocupa todo el terreno y Ucrania no es Venezuela.

El Vaticano no puede dar como disculpa que no sabe. Él está a lo tanto de todo y sabe muy bien de que se trata. No puede ignorar los intereses geopolíticos y militares que movilizan a Estados-Unidos y a la OTAN para tomar el control de Ucrania, aislando un poco mas a Rusia. Ya sabe desde tiempo de esas acciones llevadas por este Occidente para deshacer a un gobierno legitimo y remplazarlo por otro que sepa responder mejor a sus intereses. ¿Quién no se recuerda esta discusión entre Victoria Nuland, responsable de asuntos europeos en el Departamento de Estado, y el embajador de Estados Unidos en Ucrania, Geoffrey R. Pyatt?

Cuando sucedió el ataque, el 17 de julio, del vuelo DH17, provocando la muerte de 298 muertos, el Vaticano lamentó, por supuesto, lo ocurrido y presentó sus condolencias a todas las víctimas, pero se guardó bien de llamar a la Comunidad internacional (ONU) que haga una encuesta independiente y transparente para que se conozca los verdaderos autores de este crimen. No hizo nada para denunciar a los acusadores que hacían,, sin pruebas algunas, de Rusia y de las milicias ucranias del Sur-este los responsables de este atentado mientras que Rusia y muchos otros pueblos reclamaban una encuesta independiente y transparente bajo la autoridad de las Naciones Unidas.

¿Quién no se recuerda de los 280 camiones de ayuda humanitaria que mandó Rusia para los damnificados de la guerra en Ucrania y que fueron detenidos mas de una semana en la frontera antes de tener el visto bueno del gobierno para llevar esta ayuda humanitaria a una población al limite de la sobrevivencia? No hubo ni una palabra de parte del Vaticano para que apuren el visto bueno y que esta ayuda humanitaria llegue el mas rápido a la gente que la necesita de urgencia.

En todo este proceso de guerra, ni una palabra del Vaticano para poner de relieve los esfuerzos del presidente Putin para que se llegue a un cese de fuego entre los Ucranios y a un dialogo entre las partes para conseguir la paz. Ayer, el 5 de septiembre, se firmó un acuerdo de cese de fuego y es el actual presidente de Ucrania que afirmó que eso fue posible gracias a la intervención del presidente Poutin.

Se nota, a través todos esos comportamientos, que el Estado del Vaticano actúa como si fuera parte de la OTAN. En este sentido no le conviene poner de relieve las acciones positivas del presidente Putin y de Rusia tampoco le conviene denunciar la desinformación de la cual Rusia y las milicias de Sur-Este son objetos y víctimas a la vez.

¿Cómo entender que una Iglesia que se dice “católica” sea representada por un Estado que esta pendiente de este Occidente político y militar y que no tiene nada de “católico”? Este ultimo actúa según sus intereses, los cuales no tienen nada que ver con el humanismo y aun menos con la la universalidad de los evangelios y de la Iglesia. Para ellos cuenta los recursos, la dominación y el militarismo.

En todo casos, hay que reconocer que gracias al presidente Putin si se logró que el acuerdo de cese de fuego sea firmado por las partes en conflicto dentro de Ucrania: el presidente del gobierno central de Kiev y los dos representantes de los Estados proclamados independientes. Estos dos últimos, como dicen los enemigos de la paz, no son terroristas sino representantes de comunidades que tienen sus características propias. Se trata del respeto de esas características y de eso tendrán que discutir dentro de un plan de paz.

Oscar Fortín
El 6 de septiembre 2014

Global Research Editor’s Note

We bring to the attention of our readers the following text of Osama bin Laden’s interview with Ummat, a Pakistani daily, published in Karachi on September 28, 2001. It was translated into English by the BBC World Monitoring Service and made public on September 29, 2001.

The authenticity of this interview remains to be confirmed. It is available in recognized electronic news archives including the BBC. Its authenticity has not been questioned.  

The interview tends to demystify the Osama bin Laden persona.

Osama bin Laden categorically denies his involvement in the 9/11 attacks.  Bin Laden’s statements in this interview are markedly different from those made in the alleged Osama video tapes.

In this interview, Osama bin Laden exhibits an understanding of US foreign policy. He expresses his views regarding the loss of life on 9/11. He focusses on CIA support to the narcotics trade.

He also makes statements as to who, in his opinion, might be the likely perpetrator of  the September 11 attacks.

This is an important text which has not been brought to the attention of Western public opinion.

We have highlighted key sections of this interview.

It is our hope that the text of this interview, published on 28 September 2001 barely a week before the onset of the war on Afghanistan, will contribute to a better understanding of the history of Al Qaeda, the role of Osama bin Laden and the tragic events of September 11, 2001.

This interview is published for informational purposes only. GR does not in any way endorse the statements in this interview.

Michel  Chossudovsky, September 9, 2014


Full text of September 2001 Pakistani paper’s “exclusive” interview with Usamah Bin-Ladin

Ummat (in Urdu)

translated from Urdu

Karachi, 28 September 2001, pp. 1 and 7.

Ummat’s introduction

Kabul: Prominent Arab mojahed holy warrior Usamah Bin-Ladin has said that he or his al-Qa’idah group has nothing to do with the 11 September suicidal attacks in Washington and New York. He said the US government should find the attackers within the country. In an exclusive interview with daily “Ummat”, he said these attacks could be the act of those who are part of the American system and are rebelling against it and working for some other system. Or, Usamah said, this could be the act of those who want to make the current century a century of conflict between Islam and Christianity. Or, the American Jews, who are opposed to President Bush ever since the Florida elections, might be the masterminds of this act. There is also a great possibility of the involvement of US intelligence agencies, which need billions of dollars worth of funds every year. He said there is a government within the government in the United States.

The secret agencies, he said, should be asked as to who are behind the attacks. Usamah said support for attack on Afghanistan was a matter of need for some Muslim countries and compulsion for others. However, he said, he was thankful to the courageous people of Pakistan who erected a bulwark before the wrong forces. He added that the Islamic world was attaching great expectations with Pakistan and, in time of need, “we will protect this bulwark by sacrificing of lives”.

Following is the interview in full detail:

Ummat: You have been accused of involvement in the attacks in New York and Washington. What do you want to say about this? If you are not involved, who might be?

Usamah [Osama bin Laden]: In the name of Allah, the most beneficent, the most merciful. Praise be to Allah, Who is the creator of the whole universe and Who made the earth as an abode for peace, for the whole mankind. Allah is the Sustainer, who sent Prophet Muhammad for our guidance. I am thankful to the Ummat Group of Publications, which gave me the opportunity to convey my viewpoint to the people, particularly the valiant and Momin true Muslim people of Pakistan who refused to believe in lie of the demon.

I have already said that I am not involved in the 11 September attacks in the United States. As a Muslim, I try my best to avoid telling a lie. I had no knowledge of these attacks, nor do I consider the killing of innocent women, children, and other humans as an appreciable act. Islam strictly forbids causing harm to innocent women, children, and other people.

Such a practice is forbidden ever in the course of a battle. It is the United States, which is perpetrating every maltreatment on women, children, and common people of other faiths, particularly the followers of Islam. All that is going on in Palestine for the last 11 months is sufficient to call the wrath of God upon the United States and Israel.

There is also a warning for those Muslim countries, which witnessed all these as a silent spectator. What had earlier been done to the innocent people of Iraq, Chechnya, and Bosnia?

Only one conclusion could be derived from the indifference of the United States and the West to these acts of terror and the patronage of the tyrants by these powers that America is an anti-Islamic power and it is patronizing the anti-Islamic forces. Its friendship with the Muslim countries is just a show, rather deceit. By enticing or intimidating these countries, the United States is forcing them to play a role of its choice. Put a glance all around and you will see that the slaves of the United States are either rulers or enemies of Muslims .

The US has no friends, nor does it want to keep any because the prerequisite of friendship is to come to the level of the friend or consider him at par with you. America does not want to see anyone equal to it. It expects slavery from others. Therefore, other countries are either its slaves or subordinates.

However, our case is different. We have pledged slavery to God Almighty alone and after this pledge there is no possibility to become the slave of someone else. If we do that, it will be disregardful to both our Sustainer and his fellow beings. Most of the world nations upholding their freedom are the religious ones, which are the enemies of United States, or the latter itself considers them as its enemies. Or the countries, which do not agree to become its slaves, such as China, Iran, Libya, Cuba, Syria, and the former Russia as received .

Whoever committed the act of 11 September are not the friends of the American people. I have already said that we are against the American system, not against its people, whereas in these attacks, the common American people have been killed.

According to my information, the death toll is much higher than what the US government has stated. But the Bush administration does not want the panic to spread. The United States should try to trace the perpetrators of these attacks within itself; the people who are a part of the US system, but are dissenting against it. Or those who are working for some other system; persons who want to make the present century as a century of conflict between Islam and Christianity so that their own civilization, nation, country, or ideology could survive. They can be any one, from Russia to Israel and from India to Serbia. In the US itself, there are dozens of well-organized and well-equipped groups, which are capable of causing a large-scale destruction. Then you cannot forget the American Jews, who are annoyed with President Bush ever since the elections in Florida and want to avenge him.

Then there are intelligence agencies in the US, which require billions of dollars worth of funds from the Congress and the government every year. This funding issue was not a big problem till the existence of the former Soviet Union but after that the budget of these agencies has been in danger.

They needed an enemy. So, they first started propaganda against Usamah and Taleban and then this incident happened. You see, the Bush administration approved a budget of 40bn dollars. Where will this huge amount go? It will be provided to the same agencies, which need huge funds and want to exert their importance.

Now they will spend the money for their expansion and for increasing their importance. I will give you an example. Drug smugglers from all over the world are in contact with the US secret agencies. These agencies do not want to eradicate narcotics cultivation and trafficking because their importance will be diminished. The people in the US Drug Enforcement Department are encouraging drug trade so that they could show performance and get millions of dollars worth of budget. General Noriega was made a drug baron by the CIA and, in need, he was made a scapegoat. In the same way, whether it is President Bush or any other US president, they cannot bring Israel to justice for its human rights abuses or to hold it accountable for such crimes. What is this? Is it not that there exists a government within the government in the United Sates? That secret government must be asked as to who made the attacks.

Ummat: A number of world countries have joined the call of the United States for launching an attack on Afghanistan. These also include a number of Muslim countries. Will Al-Qa’idah declare a jihad against these countries as well?

Usamah: I must say that my duty is just to awaken the Muslims; to tell them as to what is good for them and what is not. What does Islam says and what the enemies of Islam want?

Al-Qa’idah was set up to wage a jihad against infidelity, particularly to encounter the onslaught of the infidel countries against the Islamic states. Jihad is the sixth undeclared element of Islam. The first five being the basic holy words of Islam, prayers, fast, pilgrimage to Mecca, and giving alms Every anti-Islamic person is afraid of it. Al-Qa’idah wants to keep this element alive and active and make it part of the daily life of the Muslims. It wants to give it the status of worship. We are not against any Islamic country nor we consider a war against an Islamic country as jihad.

We are in favour of armed jihad only against those infidel countries, which are killing innocent Muslim men, women, and children just because they are Muslims. Supporting the US act is the need of some Muslim countries and the compulsion of others. However, they should think as to what will remain of their religious and moral position if they support the attack of the Christians and the Jews on a Muslim country like Afghanistan. The orders of Islamic shari’ah jurisprudence for such individuals, organizations, and countries are clear and all the scholars of the Muslim brotherhood are unanimous on them. We will do the same, which is being ordered by the Amir ol-Momenin the commander of the faithful Mola Omar and the Islamic scholars. The hearts of the people of Muslim countries are beating with the call of jihad. We are grateful to them.

Ummat: The losses caused in the attacks in New York and Washington have proved that giving an economic blow to the US is not too difficult. US experts admit that a few more such attacks can bring down the American economy. Why is al-Qa’idah not targeting their economic pillars?

Usamah: I have already said that we are not hostile to the United States. We are against the system, which makes other nations slaves of the United States, or forces them to mortgage their political and economic freedom. This system is totally in control of the American Jews, whose first priority is Israel, not the United States. It is simply that the American people are themselves the slaves of the Jews and are forced to live according to the principles and laws laid by them. So, the punishment should reach Israel. In fact, it is Israel, which is giving a blood bath to innocent Muslims and the US is not uttering a single word.

Ummat: Why is harm not caused to the enemies of Islam through other means, apart from the armed struggle? For instance, inciting the Muslims to boycott Western products, banks, shipping lines, and TV channels.

Usamah: The first thing is that Western products could only be boycotted when the Muslim fraternity is fully awakened and organized. Secondly, the Muslim companies should become self-sufficient in producing goods equal to the products of Western companies. Economic boycott of the West is not possible unless economic self-sufficiency is attained and substitute products are brought out. You see that wealth is scattered all across the Muslim world but not a single TV channel has been acquired which can preach Islamic injunctions according to modern requirements and attain an international influence. Muslim traders and philanthropists should make it a point that if the weapon of public opinion is to be used, it is to be kept in the hand. Today’s world is of public opinion and the fates of nations are determined through its pressure. Once the tools for building public opinion are obtained, everything that you asked for can be done.

Ummat: The entire propaganda about your struggle has so far been made by the Western media. But no information is being received from your sources about the network of Al-Qa’idah and its jihadi successes. Would you comment?

Usamah: In fact, the Western media is left with nothing else. It has no other theme to survive for a long time. Then we have many other things to do. The struggle for jihad and the successes are for the sake of Allah and not to annoy His bondsmen. Our silence is our real propaganda. Rejections, explanations, or corrigendum only waste your time and through them, the enemy wants you to engage in things which are not of use to you. These things are pulling you away from your cause.

The Western media is unleashing such a baseless propaganda, which make us surprise but it reflects on what is in their hearts and gradually they themselves become captive of this propaganda. They become afraid of it and begin to cause harm to themselves. Terror is the most dreaded weapon in modern age and the Western media is mercilessly using it against its own people. It can add fear and helplessness in the psyche of the people of Europe and the United States. It means that what the enemies of the United States cannot do, its media is doing that. You can understand as to what will be the performance of the nation in a war, which suffers from fear and helplessness.

Ummat: What will the impact of the freeze of al-Qa’idah accounts by the US?

Usamah: God opens up ways for those who work for Him. Freezing of accounts will not make any difference for Al-Qa’idah or other jihad groups. With the grace of Allah, al-Qa’idah has more than three such alternative financial systems, which are all separate and totally independent from each other. This system is operating under the patronage of those who love jihad. What to say of the United States, even the combined world cannot budge these people from their path.

These people are not in hundreds but in thousands and millions. Al-Qa’idah comprises of such modern educated youths who are aware of the cracks inside the Western financial system as they are aware of the lines in their hands. These are the very flaws of the Western fiscal system, which are becoming a noose for it and this system could not recuperate in spite of the passage of so many days.

Ummat: Are there other safe areas other than Afghanistan, where you can continue jihad?

Usamah: There are areas in all parts of the world where strong jihadi forces are present, from Indonesia to Algeria, from Kabul to Chechnya, from Bosnia to Sudan, and from Burma to Kashmir. Then it is not the problem of my person. I am helpless fellowman of God, constantly in the fear of my accountability before God. It is not the question of Usamah but of Islam and, in Islam too, of jihad. Thanks to God, those waging a jihad can walk today with their heads raised. Jihad was still present when there was no Usamah and it will remain as such even when Usamah is no longer there. Allah opens up ways and creates loves in the hearts of people for those who walk on the path of Allah with their lives, property, and children. Believe it, through jihad, a man gets everything he desires. And the biggest desire of a Muslim is the after life. Martyrdom is the shortest way of attaining an eternal life.

Ummat: What do you say about the Pakistan government policy on Afghanistan attack?

Usamah: We are thankful to the Momin and valiant people of Pakistan who erected a blockade in front of the wrong forces and stood in the first file of battle. Pakistan is a great hope for the Islamic brotherhood. Its people are awakened, organized, and rich in the spirit of faith. They backed Afghanistan in its war against the Soviet Union and extended every help to the mojahedin and the Afghan people. Then these are the same Pakistanis who are standing shoulder by shoulder with the Taleban. If such people emerge in just two countries, the domination of the West will diminish in a matter of days. Our hearts beat with Pakistan and, God forbid, if a difficult time comes we will protect it with our blood. Pakistan is sacred for us like a place of worship. We are the people of jihad and fighting for the defence of Pakistan is the best of all jihads to us. It does not matter for us as to who rules Pakistan. The important thing is that the spirit of jihad is alive and stronger in the hearts of the Pakistani people.

Copyright Ummat in Urdu, BBC translation in English, 2001

Read about Osama Bin Laden in Michel Chossudovsky’s international best-seller

According to Chossudovsky, the  “war on terrorism” is a complete fabrication based on the illusion that one man, Osama bin Laden, outwitted the $40 billion-a-year American intelligence apparatus. The “war on terrorism” is a war of conquest. Globalisation is the final march to the “New World Order”, dominated by Wall Street and the U.S. military-industrial complex.

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America’s “War on Terrorism”

by Michel
Chossudovsky

Did 9/11 Justify the War in Afghanistan?

September 9th, 2014 by David Ray Griffin

This article by award winning author Professor David Ray Griffin was first published by Global research in June 2010

There are many questions to ask about the war in Afghanistan. One that has been widely asked is whether it will turn out to be “Obama’s Vietnam.”1 This question implies another: Is this war winnable, or is it destined to be a quagmire, like Vietnam? These questions are motivated in part by the widespread agreement that the Afghan government, under Hamid Karzai, is at least as corrupt and incompetent as the government the United States tried to prop up in South Vietnam for 20 years.

Although there are many similarities between these two wars, there is also a big difference: This time, there is no draft. If there were a draft, so that college students and their friends back home were being sent to Afghanistan, there would be huge demonstrations against this war on campuses all across this country. If the sons and daughters of wealthy and middle-class parents were coming home in boxes, or with permanent injuries or post-traumatic stress syndrome, this war would have surely been stopped long ago. People have often asked: Did we learn any of the “lessons of Vietnam”? The US government learned one: If you’re going to fight unpopular wars, don’t have a draft –  hire mercenaries!

There are many other questions that have been, and should be, asked about this war, but in this essay, I focus on only one: Did the 9/11 attacks justify the war in Afghanistan?

This question has thus far been considered off-limits, not to be raised in polite company, and certainly not in the mainstream media. It has been permissible, to be sure, to ask whether the war during the past several years has been justified by those attacks so many years ago. But one has not been allowed to ask whether the original invasion was justified by the 9/11 attacks.

However, what can be designated the “McChrystal Moment” – the probably brief period during which the media are again focused on the war in Afghanistan in the wake of the Rolling Stone story about General Stanley McChrystal, the commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, which led to his resignation – provides the best opportunity for some time to raise fundamental questions about this war. Various commentators have already been asking some pretty basic questions: about the effectiveness and affordability of the present “counterinsurgency strategy” and even whether American fighting forces should remain in Afghanistan at all. But I am interested in an even more fundamental question: Whether this war was ever really justified by the publicly given reason: the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

This question has two parts: First, did these attacks provide a legal justification for the invasion of Afghanistan? Second, if not, did they at least provide a moral justification?

I. Did 9/11 Provide Legal Justification for the War in Afghanistan?

Since the founding of the United Nations in 1945, international law with regard to war has been defined by the UN Charter. Measured by this standard, the US-led war in Afghanistan has been illegal from the outset.

Marjorie Cohn, a well-known professor of international law, wrote in November 2001:

“[T]he bombings of Afghanistan by the United States and the United Kingdom are illegal.”2

In 2008, Cohn repeated this argument in an article entitled “Afghanistan: The Other Illegal War.” The point of the title was that, although it was by then widely accepted that the war in Iraq was illegal, the war in Afghanistan, in spite of the fact that many Americans did not realize it, was equally illegal.3 Her argument was based on the following facts:

First, according to international law as codified in the UN Charter, disputes are to be brought to the UN Security Council, which alone may authorize the use of force. Without this authorization, any military activity against another country is illegal.

Second, there are two exceptions: One is that, if your nation has been subjected to an armed attack by another nation, you may respond militarily in self-defense. This condition was not fulfilled by the 9/11 attacks, however, because they were not carried out by another nation: Afghanistan did not attack the United States. Indeed, the 19 men charged with the crime were not Afghans.

The other exception occurs when one nation has certain knowledge that an armed attack by another nation is imminent – too imminent to bring the matter to the Security Council. The need for self-defense must be, in the generally accepted phrase, “instant, overwhelming, leaving no choice of means, and no moment for deliberation.” Although the US government claimed that its military operations in Afghanistan were justified by the need to prevent a second attack, this need, even if real, was clearly not urgent, as shown by the fact that the Pentagon did not launch its invasion until almost a month later.

US political leaders have claimed, to be sure, that the UN did authorize the US attack on Afghanistan. This claim, originally made by the Bush-Cheney administration, was repeated by President Obama in his West Point speech of December 1, 2009, in which he said: “The United Nations Security Council endorsed the use of all necessary steps to respond to the 9/11 attacks,” so US troops went to Afghanistan “[u]nder the banner of . . .  international legitimacy.”4

However, the language of “all necessary steps” is from UN Security Council Resolution 1368, in which the Council, taking note of its own “responsibilities under the Charter,” expressed its own readiness “to take all necessary steps to respond to the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001.”5

Of course, the UN Security Council might have determined that one of these necessary steps was to authorize an attack on Afghanistan by the United States. But it did not. Resolution 1373, the only other Security Council resolution about this issue, laid out various responses, but these included matters such as freezing assets, criminalizing the support of terrorists, exchanging police information 
about terrorists, and prosecuting terrorists. The use of military force was not mentioned.6

The US war in Afghanistan was not authorized by the UN Security Council in 2001 or at anytime since, so this war began as an illegal war and remains an illegal war today. Our government’s claim to the contrary is false.

This war has been illegal, moreover, not only under international law, but also under US law. The UN Charter is a treaty, which was ratified by the United States, and, according to Article VI of the US Constitution, any treaty ratified by the United States is part of the “supreme law of the land.”7 The war in Afghanistan, therefore, has from the beginning been in violation of US as well as international law. It could not be more illegal.

II. Did 9/11 Provide Moral Justification for the War in Afghanistan?

The American public has for the most part probably been unaware of the illegality of this war, because this is not something our political leaders or our corporate media have been anxious to point out.8 So most people simply do not know.

If they were informed, however, many Americans would be inclined to argue that, even if technically illegal, the US military effort in Afghanistan has been morally justified, or at least it was in the beginning, by the attacks of 9/11. For a summary statement of this argument, we can turn again to the West Point speech of President Obama, who has taken over the Bush-Cheney account of 9/11. Answering the question of “why America and our allies were compelled to fight a war in Afghanistan in the first place,” Obama said:

“We did not ask for this fight. On September 11, 2001, nineteen men hijacked four airplanes and used them to murder nearly 3,000 people. They struck at our military and economic nerve centers. They took the lives of innocent men, women and children without regard to their faith or race or station. . . . As we know, these men belonged to al Qaeda – a group of extremists who have distorted and defiled Islam. . . . [A]fter the Taliban refused to turn over Osama bin Laden – we sent our troops into Afghanistan.”9

This standard account can be summarized in terms of three points:

1. The attacks were carried out by 19 Muslim members of al-Qaeda.

2. The attacks had been authorized by the founder of al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, who was in Afghanistan.

3. The US invasion of Afghanistan was necessary because the Taliban, which was in control of Afghanistan, refused to turn bin Laden over to US authorities.

On the basis of these three points, our political leaders have claimed that the United States had the moral right, arising from the universal right of self-defense, to attempt to capture or kill bin Laden and his al-Qaeda network to prevent them from launching another attack on our country.

The only problem with this argument is that all three points are false. I will show this by looking at these points in reverse order.

1. Did the United States Attack Afghanistan because the Taliban Refused to Turn Over Bin Laden?

The claim that the Taliban refused to turn over Bin Laden has been repeatedly made by political leaders and our mainstream media.10 Reports from the time, however, show the truth to be very different.

A. Who Refused Whom?

Ten days after the 9/11 attacks, CNN reported:

“The Taliban . . . refus[ed] to hand over bin Laden without proof or evidence that he was involved in last week’s attacks on the United States. . . . The Taliban ambassador to Pakistan . . . said Friday that deporting him without proof would amount to an ‘insult to Islam.’”

CNN also made clear that the Taliban’s demand for proof was not made without reason, saying:

“Bin Laden himself has already denied he had anything to do with the attacks, and Taliban officials repeatedly said he could not have been involved in the attacks.”

Bush, however, “said the demands were not open to negotiation or discussion.”11

With this refusal to provide any evidence of bin Laden’s responsibility, the Bush administration made it impossible for the Taliban to turn him over. As Afghan experts quoted by the Washington Post pointed out, the Taliban, in order to turn over a fellow Muslim to an “infidel” Western nation, needed a “face-saving formula.” Milton Bearden, who had been the CIA station chief in Afghanistan in the 1980s, put it this way: While the United States was demanding, “Give up bin Laden,” the Taliban were saying, “Do something to help us give him up.”12 But the Bush administration refused.

After the bombing began in October, moreover, the Taliban tried again, offering to turn bin Laden over to a third country if the United States would stop the bombing and provide evidence of his guilt. But Bush replied: “There’s no need to discuss innocence or guilt. We know he’s guilty.” An article in London’s Guardian, which reported this development, was entitled: “Bush Rejects Taliban Offer to Hand Bin Laden Over.”13 So it was the Bush administration, not the Taliban, that was responsible for the fact that bin Laden was not turned over.

In August of 2009, President Obama, who had criticized the US invasion of Iraq as a war of choice, said of the US involvement in Afghanistan: “This is not a war of choice. This is a war of necessity.”14 But the evidence shows, as we have seen, that it, like the one in Iraq, is a war of choice.

B. What Was the Motive for the Invasion?

This conclusion is reinforced by reports indicating that the United States had made the decision to invade Afghanistan two months before the 9/11 attacks. At least part of the background to this decision was the United States’ long-time support for UNOCAL’s proposed pipeline, which would transport oil and natural gas from the Caspian Sea region to the Indian Ocean through Afghanistan and Pakistan.15 This project had been stymied through the 1990s because of the civil war that had been going on in Afghanistan since the Soviet withdrawal in 1989.

In the mid-1990s, the US government had supported the Taliban with the hope that its military strength would enable it to unify the country and provide a stable government, which could protect the pipeline. By the late 1990s, however, the Clinton administration had given up on the Taliban.16

When the Bush administration came to power, it decided to give the Taliban one last chance. During a four-day meeting in Berlin in July 2001, representatives of the Bush administration insisted that the Taliban must create a government of “national unity” by sharing power with factions friendly to the United States. The US representatives reportedly said: “Either you accept our offer of a carpet of gold, or we bury you under a carpet of bombs.”17

After the Taliban refused this offer, US officials told a former Pakistani foreign secretary that “military action against Afghanistan would go ahead . . . before the snows started falling in Afghanistan, by the middle of October at the latest.”18 And, indeed, given the fact that the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon occurred when they did, the US military was able to mobilize to begin its attack on Afghanistan by October 7.

It appears, therefore, that the United States invaded Afghanistan for reasons far different from the official rationale, according to which we were there to capture or kill Osama bin Laden.

2. Has Good Evidence of Bin Laden’s Responsibility Been Provided?

I turn now to the second point: the claim that Osama bin Laden had authorized the attacks. Even if it refused to give the Taliban evidence for this claim, the Bush administration surely – most Americans probably assume – had such evidence and provided it to those who needed it. Again, however, reports from the time indicate otherwise.

A. The Bush Administration

Two weeks after 9/11, Secretary of State Colin Powell said that he expected “in the near future . . . to put out . . . a document that will describe quite clearly the evidence that we have linking [bin Laden] to this attack.”19 But at a joint press conference with President Bush the next morning, Powell withdrew this pledge, saying that “most of [the evidence] is classified.”20 Seymour Hersh, citing officials from both the CIA and the Department of Justice, said the real reason why Powell withdrew the pledge was a “lack of solid information.”21

B. The British Government

The following week, British Prime Minister Tony Blair issued a document to show that “Osama Bin Laden and al-Qaeda, the terrorist network which he heads, planned and carried out the atrocities on 11 September 2001.” Blair’s report, however, began by saying: “This document does not purport to provide a prosecutable case against Osama Bin Laden in a court of law.”22 So, the case was good enough to go to war, but not good enough to take to court. The next day, the BBC emphasized this weakness, saying: “There is no direct evidence in the public domain linking Osama Bin Laden to the 11 September attacks.”23

C. The FBI

What about our own FBI? Its “Most Wanted Terrorist” webpage on “Usama bin Laden” does not list 9/11 as one of the terrorist acts for which he is wanted.24 When asked why not, the FBI’s chief of investigative publicity replied: “because the FBI has no hard evidence connecting Bin Laden to 9/11.”25

D. The 9/11 Commission

What about the 9/11 Commission? Its entire report is based on the assumption that bin Laden was behind the attacks. However, the report’s evidence to support this premise has been disowned by the Commission’s own co-chairs, Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton.

This evidence consisted of testimony that had reportedly been elicited by the CIA from al-Qaeda operatives. The most important of these operatives was Khalid Sheikh Mohammed – generally known simply as “KSM” – who has been called the “mastermind” of the 9/11 attacks. If you read the 9/11 Commission’s account of how bin Laden planned the attacks, and then check the notes, you will find that almost every note says that the information came from KSM.26

In 2006, Kean and Hamilton wrote a book giving “the inside story of the 9/11 Commission,” in which they called this information untrustworthy. They had no success, they reported, in “obtaining access to star witnesses in custody . . . , most notably Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.”27 Besides not being allowed by the CIA to interview KSM, they were not permitted to observe his interrogation through one-way glass. They were not even allowed to talk to the interrogators.28 Therefore, Kean and Hamilton complained:

“We . . . had no way of evaluating the credibility of detainee information. How could we tell if someone such as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed . . . was telling us the truth?”29

They could not.

Accordingly, neither the Bush administration, the British government, the FBI, nor the 9/11 Commission ever provided good evidence of bin Laden’s responsibility for the attacks.

E. Did Bin Laden Confess?

Some people argue, to be sure, that such evidence soon became unnecessary because bin Laden admitted his responsibility in a videotape that was discovered by the US military in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, in November 2001. But besides the fact that bin Laden had previously denied his involvement many times,30 bin Laden experts have called this later video a fake,31 and for good reasons. Many of the physical features of the man in this video are different from those of Osama bin Laden (as seen in undoubtedly authentic videos), and he said many things that bin Laden himself would not have said.32

The FBI, in any case, evidently does not believe that this video provides hard evidence of bin Laden’s responsibility for 9/11, or it would have revised its “Most Wanted Terrorist” page on him after this video surfaced.

So, to review the first two points: The Taliban said it would turn over bin Laden if our government would give it good evidence of his responsibility for 9/11, but our government refused. And good evidence of this responsibility has never been given to the public.

I turn now to the third claim: that, even if there is no proof that Osama bin Laden authorized the attacks, we have abundant evidence that the attacks were carried out by Muslims belonging to his al-Qaeda organization. I will divide the discussion of this third claim into two sections: Section 3a looks at the main support for this claim: evidence that Muslim hijackers were on the airliners. Section 3b looks at the strongest evidence against this claim: the collapse of World Trade Center 7.

3a. Evidence Al-Qaeda Muslims Were on the Airliners

It is still widely thought to have been established beyond question that the attacks were carried out by members of al-Qaeda. The truth, however, is that the evidence entirely falls apart upon examination, and this fact suggests that 9/11 was instead a false-flag attack – an attack that people within our own government orchestrated while planting evidence to implicate Muslims.

A. Devout Muslims?

 

Let us begin with the 9/11 Commission’s claim that the men who (allegedly) took over the planes were devout Muslims, ready to sacrifice their lives for their cause.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Atta and other hijackers had made “at least six trips” to Las Vegas, where they had “engaged in some decidedly un-Islamic sampling of prohibited pleasures.” The Chronicle then quoted the head of the Islamic Foundation of Nevada as saying: “True Muslims don’t drink, don’t gamble, don’t go to strip clubs.”33

The contradiction is especially strong with regard to Mohamed Atta. On the one hand, according to the 9/11 Commission, he was very religious, even “fanatically so.”34 This characterization was supported by Professor Dittmar Machule, who was Atta’s thesis supervisor at a technical university in Hamburg in the 1990s. Professor Machule says he knew his student only as Mohamed Al-Emir – although his full name was the same as his father’s: Mohamed Al-Emir Atta. In any case, Machule says that this young man was “very religious,” prayed regularly, and never touched alcohol.35

According to the American press, on the other hand, Mohamed Atta drank heavily and, one night after downing five glasses of Vodka, shouted an Arabic word that, Newsweek said, “roughly translates as ‘F–k God.’”36 Investigative reporter Daniel Hopsicker, who wrote a book about Atta, stated that Atta regularly went to strip clubs, hired prostitutes, drank heavily, and took cocaine. Atta even lived with a stripper for several months and then, after she kicked him out, she reported, he came back and disemboweled her cat and dismembered its kittens.37

Could this be the same individual as Professor Machule’s student Mohamed Al-Emir, who would not even shake hands with a woman upon being introduced, and who never touched alcohol? “I would put my hand in the fire,” said the professor, “that this Mohamed El-Amir I know will never taste or touch alcohol.” Could the Atta described by Hopsicker and the American press be the young man whom this professor described as not a “bodyguard type” but “more a girl looking type”?38 Could the man who disemboweled a cat and dismembered its kittens be the young man known to his father as a “gentle and tender boy,” who was nicknamed “nightingale”?39

We are clearly talking about two different men. This is confirmed by the differences in their appearance. The American Atta was often described as having a hard, cruel face, and the standard FBI photo of him bears this out. The face of the Hamburg student was quite different, as photos available on the Internet show.40 Also, his professor described him as “very small,” being “one meter sixty-two” in height41 – which means slightly under 5’4” – whereas the American Atta has been described as 5’8” and even 5’10” tall.42

One final reason to believe that these different descriptions apply to different men: The father of Mohamed al-Emir Atta reported that on September 12, before either of them had learned of the attacks, his son called him and they “spoke for two minutes about this and that.”43

There are also problems in relation to many of the other alleged hijackers. For example, the BBC reported that Waleed al-Shehri, who supposedly died along with Atta on American Flight 11, spoke to journalists and American authorities in Casablanca the following week.44 Moreover, there were clearly two men going by the name Ziad Jarrah – the name of the alleged hijacker pilot of United Flight 93.45

Accordingly, besides the fact the men labeled “the hijackers” were not devout Muslims, they may not have even been Muslims of any type.

And if that were not bad enough for the official story, there is no good evidence that these men were even on the planes – all the evidence for this claim falls apart upon examination. I will illustrate this point with a few examples.46

B. Passports at the Crash Sites

 

One of the purported proofs that the 19 men identified as the hijackers were on the planes was the reported discovery of some of their passports at crash sites. But the reports of these discoveries are not believable.

For example, the FBI claimed that, while searching the streets after the destruction of the World Trade Center, they discovered the passport of Satam al-Suqami, one of the hijackers on American Flight 11, which had crashed into the North Tower.47 But for this to be true, the passport would have had to survive the collapse of the North Tower, which evidently pulverized almost everything in the building into fine particles of dust – except the steel and al-Suqami’s passport.

But this claim was too absurd to pass the giggle test: “[T]he idea that [this] passport had escaped from that inferno unsinged,” remarked a British commentator, “would [test] the credulity of the staunchest supporter of the FBI’s crackdown on terrorism.”48 By 2004, the claim had been modified to say that “a passer-by picked it up and gave it to a NYPD detective shortly before the World Trade Center towers collapsed.”49 So, rather than needing to survive the collapse of the North Tower, the passport merely needed to escape from al-Suqami’s pocket or luggage, then from the plane’s cabin, and then from the North Tower without being destroyed or even singed by the giant fireball.

This version was no less ridiculous than the first one, and the other stories about passports at crash sites are equally absurd.

C. Reported Phone Calls from the Airliners

It is widely believed, of course, that we know that there were hijackers on the airliners, thanks to numerous phone calls from passengers and crew members, in which they reported the hijackings. But we have good reasons to believe that these calls never occurred.

Reported Calls from Cell Phones: About 15 of the reported calls from the airliners were said to have been made on cell phones, with about 10 of those being from United Flight 93 – the one that reportedly crashed in Pennsylvania. Three or four of those calls were received by Deena Burnett, who knew that her husband, Tom Burnett, had used his cell phone, she told the FBI, because she recognized his cell phone number on her Caller ID.

However, given the cell phone technology available in 2001, high-altitude cell phone calls from airliners were not possible. They were generally not possible much above 1,000 feet, and were certainly impossible above 35,000 or even 40,000 feet, which was the altitude of the planes when most of the cell phone calls were supposedly made. Articles describing the impossibility of the calls were published in 2003 and 2004 by two well-known Canadians: A. K. Dewdney, formerly a columnist for Scientific American, and economist Michel Chossudovsky.50

Perhaps in response, the FBI changed the story. In 2006, it presented a report on the phone calls from the planes for the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui, the so-called 20th hijacker. In its report on United Flight 93, it said that cell phones were used for only two of the calls, both of which were made the plane, shortly before it crashed, had descended to a low altitude.51 These two calls were, in fact, the only two cell phone calls made from any of the airliners, the FBI report said.52 The FBI thereby avoided claiming that any high-altitude cell phone calls had been made.

But if the FBI’s new account is true, how do we explain that so many people reported receiving cell phone calls? Most of these people said that they had been told by the caller that he or she was using a cell phone, so we might suppose that their reports were based on bad hearing or faulty memory. But what about Deena Burnett, whose statement that she recognized her husband’s cell phone number on her Caller ID was made to the FBI that very day?53 If Tom Burnett used a seat-back phone, as the FBI’s 2006 report says, why did his cell phone number show up on his wife’s Caller ID? The FBI has not answered this question.

The only possible explanation seems to be that these calls were faked. Perhaps someone used voice morphing technology, which already existed at that time,54 in combination with a device for providing a fake Caller ID, which can be ordered on the Internet. Or perhaps someone used Tom’s cell phone to place fake calls from the ground. In either case, Tom Burnett did not actually call his wife from aboard United Flight 93. And if calls to Deena Burnett were faked, we must assume that all of the calls were – because if there had really been surprise hijackings, no one would have been prepared to make fake phone calls to her.

The Reported Calls from Barbara Olson: This conclusion is reinforced by the FBI’s report on phone calls from American Flight 77 – the one that supposedly struck the Pentagon. Ted Olson, the US Solicitor General, reported that his wife, Barbara Olson (a well-known commentator on CNN), had called him twice from this flight, with the first call lasting “about one (1) minute,”55 and the second call lasting “two or three or four minutes.”56 In these calls, he said, she reported that the plane had been taken over by hijackers armed with knives and box-cutters.

But how could she have made these calls? The plane was far too high for a cell phone to work. And American Flight 77 was a Boeing 757, and the 757s made for American Airlines – the 9/11 Truth Movement learned in 2005 – did not have onboard phones.57 Whether or not for this reason, the FBI’s report to the Moussaoui trial did not endorse Ted Olson’s story. Its report on telephone calls from American Flight 77 did mention Barbara Olson, but it attributed only one call to her, not two, and it said that this call was “unconnected,” so that it  lasted “0 seconds.”58

This FBI report allows only two possibilities: Either Ted Olson engaged in deception, or he, like Deena Burnett, was duped by faked calls. In either case, the story about Barbara Olson’s calls, with their reports of hijackers taking over Flight 77, was based on deception.

The alleged phone calls, therefore, do not provide trustworthy evidence that there were hijackers on the planes.

D. Autopsy Reports and Flight Manifests

 

The public has widely assumed, due to misleading claims,59 that the names of the alleged hijackers were on the flight manifests for the four flights, and also that the autopsy report from the Pentagon contained the names of the hijackers said to have been on American Flight 77. However, the passenger manifests for the four airliners did not contain the names of any of the alleged hijackers and, moreover, they contained no Arab names whatsoever.60 Also, as a psychiatrist who was able to obtain a copy of the Pentagon autopsy report through a FOIA request discovered, it contained none of the names of the hijackers for American Flight 77 and, in fact, no Arab names whatsoever.61

E. Failure to Squawk the Hijack Code

 

Finally, the public has been led to believe that all the evidence about what happened on board the four airliners supported the claim that they were taken over by hijackers. This claim, however, was contradicted by something that did not happen. If pilots have any reason to believe that a hijacking may be in process, they are trained to enter the standard hijack code (7500) into their transponders to alert controllers on the ground. This is called “squawking” the hijack code. None of the eight pilots did this on 9/11, even though there would have been plenty of time: This act takes only two or three seconds and it would have taken longer than this for hijackers to break into the pilots’ cabins: According to official account of United Flight 93, for example, it took over 30 seconds for the hijackers to break into the cockpit.62

F. False-Flag Attack

 

It appears, therefore, that 9/11 was the most elaborate example yet of a false-flag attack, which occurs when countries, wanting to attack other countries, orchestrate attacks on their own people while planting evidence to implicate those other countries. Hitler did this when he was ready to attack Poland, which started the European part of World War II; Japan did it when it was ready to attack Manchuria, which started the Asian part of that war. In 1962, the Pentagon’s Joint Chiefs of Staff proposed false-flag attacks killing American citizens to provide a pretext for invading Cuba.63 This proposal was not put into effect because it was vetoed by President Kennedy. But in 2001, the White House was occupied by an administration that wanted to attack Afghanistan, Iraq, and several other predominantly Muslim countries,64 and so, it appears, evidence was planted to implicate Muslims.

3b. How the Collapse of WTC 7 Disproves the Al-Qaeda Theory

I turn now to the strongest evidence that the 9/11 attacks were orchestrated by insiders rather than foreign terrorists: the collapse of Building 7 of the World Trade Center, which is the subject of my most recent book, The Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center 7: Why the Final Official Report about 9/11 Is Unscientific and False.65

A. Mysterious Collapse

 

I speak of the “mysterious collapse” because the collapse of this building was, from the very beginning, seen as more mysterious than that of the Twin Towers. Given the fact that those two buildings were hit by planes, which started big fires, most people evidently thought – if wrongly – that the fact that these buildings came down was not problematic. But Building 7 was not hit by a plane, and yet it came down at 5:21 that afternoon.

This would mean, assuming that neither incendiaries nor explosives were used to demolish this building, that it had been brought down by fire alone, and this would have been an unprecedented occurrence. New York Times writer James Glanz wrote, “experts said no building like it, a modern, steel-reinforced high-rise, had ever collapsed because of an uncontrolled fire.” Glanz then quoted a structural engineer as saying: “[W]ithin the structural engineering community, [Building 7] is considered to be much more important to understand [than the Twin Towers],” because engineers had no answer to the question, “why did 7 come down?”66

Moreover, although Glanz spoke of an “uncontrolled fire,” there were significant fires on only six of this building’s 47 floors, and these fires were visible at most for three to four hours, and yet fires have burned in other steel-frame skyscrapers for 17 and 18 hours, turning them into towering infernos without causing collapse.67 So why did Building 7 come down? FEMA, which in 2002 put out the first official report on this building, admitted that its “best hypothesis” had “only a low probability of occurrence.”68

B. Reasons to Suspect Explosives

 

By its “best hypothesis,” FEMA meant the best hypothesis it could suggest consistent with the fact that it, as a government agency, could not posit the use of incendiaries and explosives. Why might anyone think that incendiaries and explosives brought this building down?

Precedent: One reason is simply that, prior to 9/11, every collapse of a steel-frame high-rise building was brought about by explosives, often in conjunction with incendiaries, in the procedure known as “controlled demolition.” Collapse has never been produced by fires, earthquakes, or any other cause other than controlled demolition.

Vertical Collapse: Another reason to posit controlled demolition is that this building came straight down, collapsing into its own footprint. For this to happen, all of this building’s 82 steel columns had to fail simultaneously. This is what happens in the type of controlled demolition known as “implosion.” It is not something that can be caused by fires.

Simply seeing a video of the building coming down makes it obvious to anyone with knowledge of these things that explosives were used to bring it down. On 9/11 itself, CBS News anchor Dan Rather said:

“[I]t’s reminiscent of those pictures we’ve all seen . . . on television . . . , where a building was deliberately destroyed by well-placed dynamite to knock it down.”69

In 2006, a filmmaker asked Danny Jowenko, the owner of a controlled demolition company in the Netherlands, to comment on a video of the collapse of Building 7 without telling him what it was. (Jowenko had never heard that a third building had collapsed on 9/11.) After viewing the video, Jowenko said: “They simply blew up columns, and the rest caved in afterwards. . . . This is controlled demolition.” When asked if he was certain, he replied: “Absolutely, it’s been imploded. This was a hired job. A team of experts did this.”70

An organization called “Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth,” which was formed in 2007, now has over 1,200 members. Many of them, as one can see by reading their statements, joined after they saw a video of Building 7’s collapse.71

In light of all of these considerations, a truly scientific investigation, which sought the truth about Building 7, would have begun with the hypothesis that it had been deliberately demolished.

C. NIST’s Report as Political, Not Scientific

 

However, this hypothesis did not provide the starting point for NIST – the National Institute of Standards and Technology – which took over from FEMA the responsibility for writing the official report on the destruction of the World Trade Center. Rather, NIST said:

“The challenge was to determine if a fire-induced floor system failure could occur in WTC 7 under an ordinary building contents fire.”72

So, although every other steel-frame building that has collapsed did so because explosives (perhaps along with incendiaries) were used to destroy its support columns, NIST said, in effect: “We think fire brought down WTC 7.” To understand why NIST started with this hypothesis, it helps to know that it is an agency of the Commerce Department, which means that all the years it was working on its World Trade Center reports, it was an agency of the Bush-Cheney administration.

Also, a scientist who had worked for NIST reported that by 2001 it had been “fully hijacked from the scientific into the political realm,” so that scientists working there had “lost [their] scientific independence, and became little more than ‘hired guns.’”73

One manifestation of NIST’s political nature may be the fact that it delayed its report on Building 7 year after year, releasing it only late in 2008, when the Bush-Cheney administration was preparing to leave office.

Be that as it may, NIST did in August of 2008 finally put out a report in the form of a draft for public comment. Announcing this draft report at a press conference, Shyam Sunder, NIST’s lead investigator, said:

“Our take-home message today is that the reason for the collapse of World Trade Center 7 is no longer a mystery. WTC 7 collapsed because of fires fueled by office furnishings. It did not collapse from explosives.”74

Sunder added that “science is really behind what we have said.”75

However, far from being supported by good science, NIST’s report repeatedly makes its case by resorting to scientific fraud. Two of the major types of scientific fraud, as defined by the National Science Foundation, are fabrication, which is “making up results,” and falsification, which means either “changing or omitting data.”76 I will begin with falsification.

D. NIST’S Falsification of Testimonial Evidence Pointing to Explosives

Claiming that it “found no evidence of a . . . controlled demolition event,”77 NIST simply omitted or distorted all such evidence, some of which was testimonial.

Two city officials, Barry Jennings of the Housing Authority and Michael Hess, the city’s corporation counsel, reported that they became trapped by a massive explosion in Building 7 shortly after they arrived there at 9:00 AM. NIST, however, claimed that what they called an explosion was really just the impact of debris from the collapse of the North Tower, which did not occur until 10:28. But Jennings explicitly said that they were trapped before either of the Twin Towers came down, which means that the explosion that he and Hess reported occurred before 9:59, when the South Tower came down. NIST rather obviously, therefore, distorted these men’s testimonial evidence.

Other people reported that explosions went off in the late afternoon, when the building started to come down. Reporter Peter Demarco of the New York Daily News said:

“[T]here was a rumble. The building’s top row of windows popped out. Then all the windows on the thirty-ninth floor popped out. Then the thirty-eighth floor. Pop! Pop! Pop! was all you heard until the building sunk into a rising cloud of gray.”78

NIST dealt with such testimonies by simply ignoring them.

E. NIST’s Omission of Physical Evidence for Explosives

NIST also ignored a lot of physical evidence that Building 7 was brought down by explosives.

Swiss-Cheese Steel: For example, three professors from Worcester Polytechnic Institute discovered a piece of steel from Building 7 that had melted so severely that it had holes in it, making it look like Swiss cheese.79 The New York Times, pointing out that the fires in the building could not have been hot enough to melt steel, called this “the deepest mystery uncovered in the investigation.”80 The three professors, in a report included as an appendix to the 2002 FEMA report, said: “A detailed study into the mechanisms of this phenomenon is needed.”81

When NIST’s report on Building 7 appeared, however, it did not mention this mysterious piece of steel. It even claimed that no recovered steel from this building had been identified.82 And this was just the beginning of NIST’s omission of physical evidence.

Particles of Metal in the Dust: The nearby Deutsche Bank building was heavily contaminated by dust produced when the World Trade Center was destroyed. But the bank’s insurance company refused to pay for the clean-up, claiming that the dust in the bank was ordinary building dust, not dust that resulted from the destruction of the WTC. So Deutsche Bank hired the RJ Lee Group, a scientific research organization, to do a study, which showed that the dust in this building was WTC dust, with a unique chemical signature. Part of this signature was “[s]pherical iron . . . particles,”83 and this meant, the RJ Lee Group said, that iron had “melted during the WTC Event, producing spherical metallic particles.”84

Iron does not melt until it reaches 2,800°F (1,538°C), which is about 1,000 degrees F (540 degrees C) higher than the fires could have been. The RJ Lee study also found that temperatures had been reached “at which lead would have undergone vaporization”85 – meaning 3,180°F (1,749°C).86

Another study was carried out by scientists at the US Geological Survey. Besides also finding iron particles, these scientists found that molybdenum had been melted87 – even though its melting point is extremely high: 4,753°F (2,623°C).88

These two studies proved, therefore, that something had produced temperatures many times higher than the fires could have produced. NIST, however, made no mention of these studies. But even this was not the end of the physical evidence omitted by NIST.

Nanothermite Residue: A report by several scientists, including University of Copenhagen chemist Niels Harrit, showed that the WTC dust contained unreacted nanothermite. Whereas ordinary thermite is an incendiary, nanothermite is a high explosive. This report by Harrit and his colleagues did not appear until 2009,89 several months after the publication of NIST’s final report in November 2008. But NIST should have, as a matter of routine, tested the WTC dust for signs of incendiaries, such as ordinary thermite, and explosives, such as nanothermite.

When asked whether it did, however, NIST said that it did not. When a reporter asked Michael Newman, a NIST spokesman, why not, Newman replied: “[B]ecause there was no evidence of that.” “But,” asked the reporter, “how can you know there’s no evidence if you don’t look for it first?” Newman replied: “If you’re looking for something that isn’t there, you’re wasting your time . . . and the taxpayers’ money.”90

F. NIST’s Fabrication of Evidence to Support Its Own Theory

Besides omitting and distorting evidence to deny the demolition theory of Building 7’s collapse, NIST also fabricated evidence – simply made it up – to support its own theory.

No Girder Shear Studs: NIST’s explanation as to how fire caused Building 7 to collapse starts with thermal expansion, meaning that the fire heated up the steel, thereby causing it to expand. An expanding steel beam on the 13th floor, NIST claimed, caused a steel girder attached to a column to break loose. Having lost its support, this column failed, starting a chain reaction in which the other 81 columns failed, causing a progressive collapse.91 Ignoring the question of whether this is even remotely plausible, let us simply ask: Why did that girder fail? Because, NIST claimed, it was not connected to the floor slab with sheer studs. NIST wrote: In WTC 7, no studs were installed on the girders.92 Floor beams . . . had shear studs, but the girders that supported the floor beams did not have shear studs.93 This was a fabrication, as we can see by looking at NIST’s Interim Report on WTC 7, which it had published in 2004. That report, written before NIST had developed its girder-failure theory, stated that girders as well as the beams had been attached to the floor by means of shear studs.94

A Raging Fire on Floor 12 at 5:00 PM: Another case of fabrication is a graphic in NIST’s report showing that at 5:00 PM, there were very big fires covering much of the north face of Floor 12.95 This claim is essential to NIST’s explanation as to why the building collapsed 21 minutes later. However, if you look back at NIST’s 2004 report, you will find this statement:

“Around 4:45 PM, a photograph showed fires on Floors 7, 8, 9, and 11 near the middle of the north face; Floor 12 was burned out by this time.”96

Other photographs even show that the 12th floor fire had virtually burned out by 4:00. And yet NIST, in its final report, claims that fires were still raging on this floor at 5:00 PM.

G. NIST’s Affirmation of a Miracle

In addition to omitting, falsifying, and fabricating evidence, NIST affirms a miracle. You have perhaps seen the cartoon in which a physics professor has written a proof on a chalkboard. Most of the steps consist of mathematical equations, but one of them simply says: “Then a miracle happens.” This is humorous because one thing you absolutely cannot do in science is to appeal to a miracle, even implicitly. And yet that is what NIST does. I will explain:

NIST’S Denial of Free Fall: Members of the 9/11 Truth Movement had long been pointing out that Building 7 came down at the same rate as a free-falling object, at least virtually so.

In NIST’s Draft for Public Comment, put out in August 2008, it denied this, saying that the time it took for the upper floors – the only floors that are visible on the videos – to come down “was approximately 40 percent longer than the computed free fall time and was consistent with physical principles.”97

As this statement implies, any assertion that the building did come down in free fall would not be consistent with physical principles – meaning the laws of physics. Explaining why not, Shyam Sunder said:

“[A] free fall time would be [the fall time of] an object that has no structural components below it. . . . [T]he . . . time that it took . . . for those 17 floors to disappear [was roughly 40 percent longer than free fall]. And that is not at all unusual, because there was structural resistance that was provided in this particular case. And you had a sequence of structural failures that had to take place. Everything was not instantaneous.”98

In saying this, Sunder was presupposing NIST’s rejection of controlled demolition – which could have produced a free-fall collapse by causing all 82 columns to fail simultaneously – in favor of NIST’s fire theory, which necessitated a theory of progressive collapse.

Chandler’s Challenge: In response, high-school physics teacher David Chandler challenged Sunder’s denial of free fall, pointing out that Sunder’s “40 percent longer” claim contradicted “a publicly visible, easily measurable quantity.”99 Chandler then placed a video on the Internet showing that, by measuring this publicly visible quantity, anyone knowing elementary physics could see that “for about two and a half seconds. . . , the acceleration of the building is indistinguishable from freefall.”100

NIST Admits Free Fall: Amazingly, in NIST’s final report, which came out in November, it admitted free fall. Dividing the building’s descent into three stages, NIST described the second phase as “a freefall descent over approximately eight stories at gravitational acceleration for approximately 2.25 s[econds].”101 (“Gravitational acceleration” is a synonym for free fall acceleration.)

So, after presenting over 600 pages of descriptions, graphs, testimonies, photographs, charts, analyses, explanations, and mathematical formulae, NIST says, in effect: “Then a miracle happens.”

Why this would be a miracle was explained by Chandler, who said: “Free fall can only be achieved if there is zero resistance to the motion.”102 In other words, the upper portion of Building 7 could have come down in free fall only if something had suddenly removed all the steel and concrete in the lower part of the building, which would have otherwise provided resistance. If everything had not been removed and the upper floors had come down in free fall anyway, even for only a second or two, a miracle – meaning a violation of the laws of physics – would have happened.

That was what Sunder himself had explained the previous August, saying that a free-falling object would be one “that has no structural components below it” to offer resistance.

But then in November, while still defending the fire theory of collapse, NIST admitted that, as an empirical fact, free fall happened. For a period of 2.25 seconds, NIST admitted, the descent of WTC 7 was characterized by “gravitational acceleration (free fall).”103

Knowing that it had thereby affirmed a miracle, NIST no longer claimed that its analysis was consistent with the laws of physics. In its August draft, in which it had said that the collapse occurred 40 percent slower than free fall, NIST had said three times that its analysis was “consistent with physical principles.”104 In the final report, however, every instance of this phrase was removed. NIST thereby almost explicitly admitted that its report on WTC 7, by admitting free fall while continuing to deny that explosives were used, is not consistent with the principles of physics.

Conclusion about WTC 7: The science of World Trade Center 7 is, therefore, settled. This fact is reflected in the agreement by many hundreds of professionals with various forms of expertise – architects, engineers, firefighters, physicists, and chemists – that this building was deliberately demolished.

This truth has also recently been recognized by a symposium in one of our leading social science journals, which treats 9/11 as an example of what its authors call State Crimes Against Democracy (SCADs).105 Criticizing the majority of the academic world for its “blithe dismissal of more than one law of thermodynamics” that is violated by the official theory of the World Trade Center collapses, these authors also criticize the academy for its failure to protest when “Professor Steven Jones found himself forced out of tenured position for merely reminding the world that physical laws, about which there is no dissent whatsoever, contradict the official theory.”106

And now the world can see, if it will only look, that even NIST, in its final report, did not dissent: By admitting that Building 7 came down in free fall for over two seconds, while simultaneously removing its previous claim that its report was consistent with physical principles, NIST implicitly admitted that the laws of physics rule out its non-demolition theory of this building’s collapse. NIST thereby implicitly admitted that explosives were used.

H. Implications for the Al-Qaeda Theory of 9/11

 

And with that implicit admission, NIST undermined the al-Qaeda theory of 9/11. Why?

For one thing, the straight-down nature of the collapse of WTC 7 means that it was subjected to the type of controlled demolition known as “implosion,” which is, in the words of a controlled demolition website, “by far the trickiest type of explosive project,” which “only a handful of blasting companies in the world . . . possess enough experience . . . to perform.”107 Al-Qaeda terrorists would not have had this kind of expertise.

Second, the only reason to go to the trouble of bringing a building straight down is to avoid damaging nearby buildings. Had WTC 7 and the Twin Towers – which also came straight down, after initial explosions at the top that ejected sections of steel outward several hundred feet108 – instead toppled over sideways, they would have caused massive destruction in Lower Manhattan, destroying dozens of other buildings and killing tens of thousands of people. Does anyone believe that, even if al-Qaeda operatives had had the expertise to make the buildings come straight down, they would have had the courtesy?

A third problem is that foreign terrorists could not have obtained access to the buildings for all the hours it would have taken to plant explosives. Only insiders could have done this.109

The science of the collapse of World Trade Center 7, accordingly, disproves the claim – which from the outset has been used to justify the war in Afghanistan – that America was attacked on 9/11 by al-Qaeda Muslims. It suggests, instead, that 9/11 was a false-flag operation to provide a pretext to attack Muslim nations.

Conclusion

 

In any case, the official rationale for our presence in Afghanistan is a lie. We are there for other reasons. Critics have offered various suggestions as to the most important of those reasons.110 Whatever be the answer to that question, however, we have not been there to apprehend the terrorists responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Besides never being legally justified, therefore, the war in Afghanistan has never been morally justified.

This war, moreover, is an abomination. In addition to the thousands of US and other NATO troops who have been killed or impaired for life, physically and/or mentally, the US-led invasion/occupation of Afghanistan has resulted in a huge number of Afghan casualties, with estimates running from several hundred thousand to several million.111 But whatever the true number, the fact is that the United States has produced a great amount of death and misery – sometimes even bombing funerals and wedding parties – in this country that had already suffered terribly and that, even if the official story were true, had not attacked America. The fact that the official story is a lie makes our war crimes even worse.112

But there is a way out. As I have shown in this paper and even more completely elsewhere,113 the falsity of the official account of WTC 7 has now been demonstrated, leaving no room for reasonable doubt. In his inaugural address, President Obama said, “We will restore science to its rightful place,”114 thereby pledging that in his administration, unlike that of his predecessor, science would again be allowed to play a determinative role in shaping public policy. By changing his administration’s policy with regard to Afghanistan in light of the science of WTC 7, the president would not only fulfill one of his most important promises. He would also prevent the war in Afghanistan from becoming known as “Obama’s Vietnam.”115

David Ray Griffin is the author of 36 books on various topics, including philosophy, theology, philosophy of science, and 9/11. His 2008 book, The New Pearl Harbor Revisited: 9/11, the Cover-Up, and the Exposé, was named a “Pick of the Week” by Publishers Weekly. In September 2009, The New Statesman ranked him #41 among “The 50 People Who Matter Today.” His most recent book is The Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center 7: Why the Final Official Report about 9/11 is Unscientific and False (2009). His next book will be Cognitive Infiltration: An Obama Appointee’s Plan to Undermine the 9/11 Conspiracy Theory (September 2010). He wishes to thank Tod Fletcher, Jim Hoffman, and Elizabeth Woodworth for help with this essay.

 

Notes

1 For a few of the many times this issue has been raised, see Jeffrey T. Kuhner, “Obama’s Vietnam?” Washington Times, January 25, 2009 (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jan/25/obamas-vietnam); Juan Cole, “Obama’s Vietnam?” Salon.com, January 26, 2009 (http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2009/01/26/obama/print.html); John Barry and Evan Thomas, “Afghanistan: Obama’s Vietnam,” Newsweek, January 31, 2009 (http://www.newsweek.com/id/182650).

2 Marjorie Cohn, “Bombing of Afghanistan Is Illegal and Must Be Stopped,” Jurist, November 6, 2001 (http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/forum/forumnew36.htm).

3 Marjorie Cohn, “Afghanistan: The Other Illegal War,” AlterNet, August 1, 2008 (http://www.alternet.org/world/93473/afghanistan:_the_other_illegal_war).

4 President Barack Obama, “The Way Forward 
in Afghanistan and Pakistan,
” Remarks at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, December 1, 2009

 (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34231058).

5 “Security Council Condemns, ‘In Strongest Terms,’ Terrorist Attacks on United States,” September 12, 2001 (http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2001/SC7143.doc.htm).

6 Brian J. Foley “Legal Analysis: U.S. Campaign Against Afghanistan Not Self-Defense Under International Law,” Lawyers Against the War (http://www.lawyersagainstthewar.org/legalarticles/foley3.html).

7 “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land.” US Constitution, Article VI, par. 2.

8 See Richard Falk and Howard Friel, The Record of the Paper: How the New York Times Misreports US Foreign Policy (London: Verso, 2007).

9 Obama, “The Way Forward 
in Afghanistan and Pakistan
.”

10 For example, Robert H. Reid, writing for the Associated Press (“August Deadliest Month for US in Afghanistan,” Associated Press, August 29, 2009 [http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/latest-news/august-deadliest-month-for-us-in-afghanistan]), said the war “was launched by the Bush administration after the Taliban government refused to hand over Osama bin Laden for his role in the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks in the United States.”

11 “White House Warns Taliban: ‘We Will Defeat You,’” CNN, September 21, 2001 (http://archives.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/asiapcf/central/09/21/ret.afghan.taliban).

12 David B. Ottaway and Joe Stephens, “Diplomats Met with Taliban on Bin Laden,” Washington Post, October 29, 2001 (http://www.infowars.com/saved%20pages/Prior_Knowledge/US_met_taliban.htm).

13 “Bush Rejects Taliban Offer to Hand Bin Laden Over,” Guardian, October 14, 2001 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2001/oct/14/afghanistan.terrorism5).

14 Sheryl Gay Stolberg, “Obama Defends Strategy in Afghanistan,” New York Times, August 18, 2009 (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/18/us/politics/18vets.html?_r=1&th&emc=th).

15 See the two chapters entitled “The New Great Game” in Ahmed Rashid, Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001), and Steve Coll, Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 (New York: Penguin, 2004).

16 Rashid, Taliban, 75-79, 163, 175.

17 Quoted in Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquié, Forbidden Truth: U.S.-Taliban Secret Oil Diplomacy and the Failed Hunt for Bin Laden (New York: Thunder’s Mouth Press/Nation Books, 2002), 43.

18 George Arney, “U.S. ‘Planned Attack on Taleban,’” BBC News, September 18, 2001 (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/1550366.stm).

19 “Meet the Press,” NBC, September 23, 2001 (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/nation/specials/attacked/transcripts/nbctext092301.html).

20 “Remarks by the President, Secretary of the Treasury O’Neill and Secretary of State Powell on Executive Order,” White House, September 24, 2001 (http://avalon.law.yale.edu/sept11/president_026.asp).

21 Seymour M. Hersh, “What Went Wrong: The C.I.A. and the Failure of American Intelligence,” New Yorker, October 1, 2001 (http://web.archive.org/web/20020603150854/http://www.cicentre.com/Documents/DOC_Hersch_OCT_01.htm).

22 Office of the Prime Minister, “Responsibility for the Terrorist Atrocities in the United States,” BBC News, October 4, 2001 (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/1579043.stm).

23 “The Investigation and the Evidence,” BBC News, October 5, 2001 (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/1581063.stm).

24 Federal Bureau of Investigation, “Most Wanted Terrorists: Usama bin Laden” (http://www.fbi.gov/wanted/terrorists/terbinladen.htm).

25 Ed Haas, “FBI says, ‘No Hard Evidence Connecting Bin Laden to 9/11’” Muckraker Report, June 6, 2006 (http://web.archive.org/web/20061107114035/http://www.teamliberty.net/id267.html). For more on this episode, see David Ray Griffin, 9/11 Contradictions: An Open Letter to Congress and the Press (Northampton: Olive Branch [Interlink], 2008), Chap. 18.

26 See The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, Authorized Edition (New York: W. W. Norton, 2004), Chap. 5, notes 16, 41, and 92.

27 Thomas H. Kean and Lee H. Hamilton, with Benjamin Rhodes, Without Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2006), 118.

28 Ibid., 122-24.

29 Ibid., 119.

30 David Ray Griffin, Osama bin Laden: Dead or Alive? (Northampton: Olive Branch [Interlink Books], 2009), 27-29.

31 Professor Bruce Lawrence interviewed by Kevin Barrett, February 16, 2007 (http://www.radiodujour.com/people/lawrence_bruce).

32 Griffin, Osama bin Laden: Dead or Alive? 16, 29-33.

33 Kevin Fagan, “Agents of Terror Leave Their Mark on Sin City,” San Francisco Chronicle, October 4, 2001 (http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2001/10/04/MN102970.DTL).

34 The 9/11 Commission Report, 160.

35 “Professor Dittmar Machule,” Interviewed by Liz Jackson, A Mission to Die For, Four Corners, October 18, 2001 (http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/atta/interviews/machule.htm).

36 Evan Thomas and Mark Hosenball, “Bush: ‘We’re at War,” Newsweek, September 24, 2001 (http://www.newsweek.com/id/76065).

37 Daniel Hopsicker, Welcome to Terrorland: Mohamed Atta and the 9-11 Cover-Up in Florida (Eugene, OR: MadCow Press, 2004). See also Hopsicker, “The Secret World of Mohamed Atta: An Interview With Atta’s American Girlfriend,” InformationLiberation, August 20, 2006 (http://www.informationliberation.com/?id=14738).  Many of the details are summarized in my 9/11 Contradictions, Chap. 15, “Were Mohamed Atta and the Other Hijackers Devout Muslims?” As I explain in that chapter, there were efforts to try to discredit Keller’s account by intimidating her into recanting and by claiming that she lived with a different man having the same first name, but these attempts failed.

38 “Professor Dittmar Machule.”

39 Kate Connolly, “Father Insists Alleged Leader Is Still Alive,” Guardian, September 2, 2002 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2002/sep/02/september11.usa).

40 “Photographs Taken of Mohamed Atta during His University Years,” A Mission to Die For, Four Corners (http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/atta/resources/photos/university.htm). Also, the differences between the (bearded) Atta in his passport photo, which is in the FBI’s evidence for the Moussaoui trial, and the Atta of the standard FBI photo, seem greater than can be accounted for by the fact that only the former Atta is bearded. The two photos can be compared at 911Review (http://911review.org/JohnDoe2/Atta.html).

41 “Professor Dittmar Machule.”

42 Thomas Tobin, “Florida: Terror’s Launching Pad,” St. Petersburg Times, September 1, 2002 (http://www.sptimes.com/2002/09/01/911/Florida__terror_s_lau.shtml); Elaine Allen-Emrich, “Hurt for Terrorists Reaches North Port,” Charlotte Sun-Herald, September 14, 2001 (available at http://www.madcowprod.com/keller.htm).

43 Connolly, “Father Insists Alleged Leader Is Still Alive.”

44 David Bamford, “Hijack ‘Suspect’ Alive in Morocco,” BBC, September 22, 2001 (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/1558669.stm). Although some news organizations, including the BBC itself, later tried to debunk this story, they failed, as I reported in The New Pearl Harbor Revisited: 9/11, the Cover-Up, and the Exposé (Northampton: Olive Branch, 2008), 151-53.

45 See Jay Kolar, “What We Now Know about the Alleged 9-11 Hijackers,” in Paul Zarembka, ed., The Hidden History of 9-11 (New York: Seven Stories Press, 2008), 3-44, at 22-26; and Paul Thompson, “The Two Ziad Jarrahs,” History Commons (http://www.historycommons.org/essay.jsp?article=essayjarrah).

46 For types of evidence not discussed here, see Griffin, The New Pearl Harbor Revisited, Chap. 8, “9/11 Commission Falsehoods about Bin Laden, al-Qaeda, Pakistanis, and Saudis.”

47 “Ashcroft Says More Attacks May Be Planned,” CNN, September 18, 2001 (http://edition.cnn.com/2001/US/09/17/inv.investigation.terrorism/index.html); “Terrorist Hunt,” ABC News, September 12, 2001 (http://911research.wtc7.net/cache/disinfo/deceptions/abc_hunt.html).

48 Anne Karpf, “Uncle Sam’s Lucky Finds,” Guardian, March 19, 2002 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/september11/story/0,11209,669961,00.html). Like some others, this article mistakenly said the passport belonged to Mohamed Atta.

49 Statement by Susan Ginsburg, senior counsel to the 9/11 Commission, at the 9/11 Commission Hearing, January 26, 2004 (http://www.9-11commission.gov/archive/hearing7/9-11Commission_Hearing_2004-01-26.htm). The Commission’s account reflected a CBS report that the passport had been found “minutes after” the attack, which had been stated by the Associated Press, January 27, 2003.

50 A. K. Dewdney, “The Cellphone and Airfone Calls from Flight UA93,” Physics 911, June 9, 2003 (http://physics911.net/cellphoneflight93.htm); Michel Chossudovsky, “More Holes in the Official Story: The 9/11 Cell Phone Calls,” Global Research, August 10, 2004 (http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO408B.html). For discussion of this issue, see Griffin, The New Pearl Harbor Revisited, 112-14.

51 Greg Gordon, “Prosecutors Play Flight 93 Cockpit Recording,” McClatchy Newspapers, KnoxNews.com, April 12, 2006 (http://web.archive.org/web/20080129210016/http://www.knoxsingles.com/shns/story.cfm?pk=MOUSSAOUI-04-12-06&cat=WW).

52 United States v. Zacarias Moussaoui, Exhibit Number P200054 (http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov/notablecases/moussaoui/exhibits/prosecution/flights/P200054.html). These documents can be viewed more easily in “Detailed Account of Phone Calls from September 11th Flights” (http://911research.wtc7.net/planes/evidence/calldetail.html).

53 “Interview with Deena Lynne Burnett (re: phone call from hijacked flight),” 9/11 Commission, FBI Source Documents, Chronological, September 11, 2001, Intelfiles.com, March 14, 2008 (http://intelfiles.egoplex.com:80/2008/03/911-commission-fbi-source-documents.html).

54 William M. Arkin, “When Seeing and Hearing Isn’t Believing,” Washington Post, February 1, 1999 (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/national/dotmil/arkin020199.htm). For discussion, see Griffin, The New Pearl Harbor Revisited, 114-18.

55 FBI, “Interview with Theodore Olsen [sic],” 9/11 Commission, FBI Source Documents, Chronological, September 11, 2001Intelfiles.com, March 14, 2008, (http://intelfiles.egoplex.com:80/2008/03/911-commission-fbi-source-documents.html).

56 “America’s New War: Recovering from Tragedy,” Larry King Live, CNN, September 14, 2001 (http://edition.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0109/14/lkl.00.html).

57 See David Ray Griffin and Rob Balsamo, “Could Barbara Olson Have Made Those Calls? An Analysis of New Evidence about Onboard Phones,” Pilots for 9/11 Truth, June 26, 2007 (http://pilotsfor911truth.org/amrarticle.html).

58 See the graphic in Jim Hoffman’s “Detailed Account of Telephone Calls from September 11th Flights,” Flight 77 (http://911research.wtc7.net/planes/evidence/calldetail.html).

59 For claims about hijackers’ names on the flight manifests, see Richard Clarke, Against All Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terror (New York: Free Press, 2004), 13; George Tenet, At the Center of the Storm: My Years at the CIA (New York: HarperCollins, 2007), 167-69; and my discussion in Griffin, The New Pearl Harbor Revisited, 174-75. On claims about hijacker names on the Pentagon autopsy report, see Debunking 9/11 Myths: Why Conspiracy Theories Can’t Stand Up to the Facts: An In-Depth Investigation by Popular Mechanics, ed. David Dunbar and Brad Reagan (New York: Hearst Books, 2006), 63, and my discussion of its claim in David Ray Griffin, Debunking 9/11 Debunking: An Answer to Popular Mechanics and Other Defenders of the Official Conspiracy Theory (Northampton: Olive Branch [Interlink Books], 2007], 267-69.

60 See Griffin, The New Pearl Harbor Revisited, 163, 174-75.

61 Thomas R. Olmsted, M.D. “Still No Arabs on Flight 77,” Rense.com, June 23, 2003 (http://www.rense.com/general38/77.htm).

62 See The New Pearl Harbor Revisited, 275-79.

63 See David Ray Griffin, Christian Faith and the Truth behind 9/11 (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2006), Chap. 1, “9/11 and Prior False Flag Operations.”

64 General Wesley Clark, Winning Modern Wars: Iraq, Terrorism, and the American Empire (New York: Public Affairs, 2003), 120, 130; “Gen. Wesley Clark Weights Presidential Bid: ‘I Think about It Everyday,’” Democracy Now! March 2, 2007 (http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=07/03/02/1440234); Joe Conason, “Seven Countries in Five Years,” Salon.com, October 12, 2007 (http://www.salon.com/opinion/conason/2007/10/12/wesley_clark); Gareth Porter, “Yes, the Pentagon Did Want to Hit Iran,” Asia Times, May 7, 2008 (http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/JE07Ak01.html).

65 David Ray Griffin, The Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center 7: Why the Final Official Report about 9/11 Is Unscientific and False (Northampton: Olive Branch [Interlink Books], 2009).

66 James Glanz, “Engineers Have a Culprit in the Strange Collapse of 7 World Trade Center: Diesel Fuel,” New York Times, November 29, 2001 (http://www.nytimes.com/2001/11/29/nyregion/nation-challenged-site-engineers-have-culprit-strange-collapse-7-world-trade.html).

67 See FEMA, “High-Rise Office Building Fire, One Meridian Plaza, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania” (http://www.interfire.org/res_file/pdf/Tr-049.pdf), and “Fire Practically Destroys Venezuela’s Tallest Building,” Venezuela News, Views, and Analysis, October 18, 2004 (http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/news/741).

68 See FEMA, World Trade Center Building Performance Study (http://www.fema.gov/pdf/library/fema403_ch5.pdf), Chap. 5, Sect. 6.2, “Probable Collapse Sequence,” at p. 31.

69 Rather’s statement is available on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nvx904dAw0o).

70 See “Danny Jowenko on WTC 7 Controlled Demolition,” YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=877gr6xtQIc), or, for more of the interview, “Jowenko WTC 7 Demolition Interviews,” in three parts (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3DRhwRN06I&feature=related).

71 Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth (http://www.ae911truth.org).

72 NIST NCSTAR 1-9, Structural Fire Response and Probable Collapse Sequence of World Trade Center Building 7, November 2008, Vol. 1 (wtc.nist.gov/NCSTAR1/PDF/NCSTAR%201-9%20Vol%201.pdf), 330.

73 “NIST Whistleblower,” October 1, 2007 (http://georgewashington.blogspot.com/2007/10/former-nist-employee-blows-whistle.html).

74 Shyam Sunder, “Opening Statement,” NIST Press Briefing, August 21, 2008 (