Archive for the ‘“Justice” System’ Category

The Hedonists of Power

June 25, 2008

The Hedonists of Power

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20080623_the_hedonists_of_power/

Posted on Jun 23, 2008

By Chris Hedges

Washington has become Versailles. We are ruled, entertained and informed by courtiers. The popular media are courtiers. The Democrats, like the Republicans, are courtiers. Our pundits and experts are courtiers. We are captivated by the hollow stagecraft of political theater as we are ruthlessly stripped of power. It is smoke and mirrors, tricks and con games. We are being had.

The past week was a good one if you were a courtier. We were instructed by the high priests on television over the past few days to mourn a Sunday morning talk show host, who made $5 million a year and who gave a platform to the powerful and the famous so they could spin, equivocate and lie to the nation. We were repeatedly told by these television courtiers, people like Tom Brokaw and Wolf Blitzer, that this talk show host was one of our nation’s greatest journalists, as if sitting in a studio, putting on makeup and chatting with Dick Cheney or George W. Bush have much to do with journalism.

No journalist makes $5 million a year. No journalist has a comfortable, cozy relationship with the powerful. No journalist believes that acting as a conduit, or a stenographer, for the powerful is a primary part of his or her calling. Those in power fear and dislike real journalists. Ask Seymour Hersh and Amy Goodman how often Bush or Cheney has invited them to dinner at the White House or offered them an interview.

All governments lie, as I.F. Stone pointed out, and it is the job of the journalist to do the hard, tedious reporting to shine a light on these lies. It is the job of courtiers, those on television playing the role of journalists, to feed off the scraps tossed to them by the powerful and never question the system. In the slang of the profession, these television courtiers are “throats.” These courtiers, including the late Tim Russert, never gave a voice to credible critics in the buildup to the war against Iraq. They were too busy playing their roles as red-blooded American patriots. They never fought back in their public forums against the steady erosion of our civil liberties and the trashing of our Constitution. These courtiers blindly accept the administration’s current propaganda to justify an attack on Iran. They parrot this propaganda. They dare not defy the corporate state. The corporations that employ them make them famous and rich. It is their Faustian pact. No class of courtiers, from the eunuchs behind Manchus in the 19th century to the Baghdad caliphs of the Abbasid caliphate, has ever transformed itself into a responsible elite. Courtiers are hedonists of power.

Our Versailles was busy this past week. The Democrats passed the FISA bill, which provides immunity for the telecoms that cooperated with the National Security Agency’s illegal surveillance over the past six years. This bill, which when signed means we will never know the extent of the Bush White House’s violation of our civil liberties, is expected to be adopted by the Senate. Barack Obama has promised to sign it in the name of national security. The bill gives the U.S. government a license to eavesdrop on our phone calls and e-mails. It demolishes our right to privacy. It endangers the work of journalists, human rights workers, crusading lawyers and whistle-blowers who attempt to expose abuses the government seeks to hide. These private communications can be stored indefinitely and disseminated, not just to the U.S. government but to other governments as well. The bill, once signed into law, will make it possible for those in power to identify and silence anyone who dares to make public information that defies the official narrative.

Being a courtier, and Obama is one of the best, requires agility and eloquence. The most talented of them can be lauded as persuasive actors. They entertain us. They make us feel good. They convince us they are our friends. We would like to have dinner with them. They are the smiley faces of a corporate state that has hijacked the government and is raping the nation. When the corporations make their iron demands, these courtiers drop to their knees, whether to placate the telecommunications companies that fund their campaigns and want to be protected from lawsuits, or to permit oil and gas companies to rake in obscene profits and keep in place the vast subsidies of corporate welfare doled out by the state.

We cannot differentiate between illusion and reality. We trust courtiers wearing face powder who deceive us in the name of journalism. We trust courtiers in our political parties who promise to fight for our interests and then pass bill after bill to further corporate fraud and abuse. We confuse how we feel about courtiers like Obama and Russert with real information, facts and knowledge. We chant in unison with Obama that we want change, we yell “yes we can,” and then stand dumbly by as he coldly votes away our civil liberties. The Democratic Party, including Obama, continues to fund the war. It refuses to impeach Bush and Cheney. It allows the government to spy on us without warrants or cause. And then it tells us it is our salvation. This is a form of collective domestic abuse. And, as so often happens in the weird pathology of victim and victimizer, we keep coming back for more.

Chris Hedges, who was a Pulitzer Prize-winning foreign correspondent for The New York Times, says he will vote for Ralph Nader for president.

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Sibel Edmonds Case: More Destruction of Evidence re: Nuclear Black Market

June 6, 2008

Sibel Edmonds Case: More Destruction of Evidence re: Nuclear Black Market

by Luke Ryland
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
June 6, 2008

It’s remarkable, really.

The US government has taken some extreme measures to silence former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds. Among other reasons, they are obviously very nervous about information that Sibel has regarding the involvement of US, Israeli, and Turkish officials in supplying the nuclear black market.

Now we have this: The US Government apparently demanded that the Swiss government destroy all evidence – all 30,000 pages of it – related to the pending prosecution of the Tinner family. The Tinners were “very key suppliers” of AQ Khan’s nuclear proliferation network, but their court case is now unlikely to proceed, given the destruction of the evidence.

Basic Facts

The Tinners, the father and two sons, were arrested by German authorities and extradited to Switzerland in 2004 for their role in supplying the A.Q. Khan nuclear proliferation network.

Two weeks ago, the Swiss President, responding to media reports, read out a prepared statement announcing that all the evidence relating to the Tinners’ case was destroyed late last year. He said that it was important to destroy all the evidence, which included sensitive information about how to make nuclear weapons, in case the information fell into the hands of terrorists. He also stated that Switzerland was merely meeting its obligations under the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty and that the IAEA supervised the destruction of the documents.

That sounds reasonable.

The Questions

Unilateral Decision Making. The Swiss government is under pressure internally as a result of its unilateral decision to destroy the evidence. Both the parliament and the courts are accusing the Swiss government of violating the principle of Separation of Powers. The Parliament has already announced that it will hold an investigation into the matter.

Why the Secrecy? The announcement that the evidence was destroyed (6 months ago) was forced on the Swiss President by rumours in the media. The Swiss government refuses to answer any questions regarding the matter, as do the IAEA and the US government.

NPT Obligations? I haven’t seen any media report which confirms or supports the Swiss claim that this destruction of evidence was an obligation under the NPT. However the Guardian, which has the best reporting on this story, quotes a ‘former senior IAEA official’ saying: “I am quite astonished. It’s very unusual to see people destroying documents like this. They should be put somewhere very safe.”

The destruction of evidence took place with the apparent imprimatur of the IAEA, but they refuse to comment too. Has the IAEA been corrupted too?

US Involvement

Virtually every media article about this matter – including those articles preceding the official announcement – notes the strong suspicion that the Swiss Government acted on behalf of the US Government, specifically the CIA. The Guardian has the details:

“While the Swiss government maintains the treasure trove of nuclear intelligence was destroyed for reasons of national security, the Americans may have been involved because Tinner is believed to have also been working for the CIA. Albright said Tinner was recruited by the American agency from 1999-2000.

“The Swiss were doing other people’s dirty work,” said an international official familiar with the investigation into the Khan network. “The allegation is that Urs (Tinner) was on the CIA payroll for a very large sum of money.”
[…]
The Americans were also present (at the destruction), according to the international official. “The Americans were involved in the destruction. They were calling the shots,” he said.
[…]
Had the evidence been presented in court, compromising and embarrassing information about the CIA’s activities with the Khan network could have surfaced, say experts and officials. “

Time Magazine has a more benign take on the reasons that the CIA might have wanted the evidence destroyed:

“The official stonewalling has fueled speculation that the United States, and specifically the CIA, has pressured the Swiss government to destroy the documents to aid its own efforts to stop nuclear smuggling, whatever the effect on the Tinners’ trials. (emphasis mine)”

One item that I have not seen mentioned in any of the recent press reports is that the US government actively hindered the Swiss investigation into the Tinners for at least 18 months. In May 2006, former weapons inspector David Albright testified in Congress that the US government had been stonewalling the Swiss investigation:

“The U.S. Government Needs to Cooperate With Swiss Prosecutions of the Tinners.

Although the focus today is on Pakistan and unanswered questions about the Khan network, the United States has been remiss in assisting the overseas prosecution of key members of the Khan network. The United States has ignored multiple requests from Swiss prosecutors for cooperation that have extended over a year.
[…]
The (Swiss) Office of the Attorney General is disappointed over this matter. It is difficult to understand the actions of the U.S. Government. Its lack of assistance needlessly complicates this important investigation.
[…]
The United States should respond to the Swiss requests for assistance as quickly as possible. To continue to ignore these requests undermines the vital prosecution of key members of the Khan network and risks undercutting support for Swiss cooperation in non-proliferation matters. In addition, I find this lack of cooperation frankly embarrassing to the United States and those of us who believe that the United States should take the lead in bringing members of the Khan network to justice for arming our enemies with nuclear weapons.”

In an interview on Democracy Now a week later, Albright said that he finds the US stonewalling “disturbing and perplexing,” “mystifying” and “embarrassing as an American,” adding:

“The signal (the U.S. government is) sending is that it doesn’t want the Swiss to prosecute these three people, and yet they provide no reason for that.”

Albright’s perspective certainly add some important context to the allegations that the US government pressured the Swiss to destroy the Tinner files in order to prevent a public trial – and all that might entail…

Secrecy

The Tinner case brings to mind the Sibel Edmonds case, in terms of the underlying issues, the secrecy, and the destruction of evidence.

One of the key issues in Sibel’s case is the involvement of American, Turkish and Israeli officials in supplying the nuclear black market, including the so-called AQ Khan network. See the UK’s Times’ “For sale: West’s deadly nuclear secrets:

Edmonds described how foreign intelligence agents had enlisted the support of US officials to acquire a network of moles in sensitive military and nuclear institutions.
[…]
Her story shows just how much the West was infiltrated by foreign states seeking nuclear secrets. It illustrates how western government officials turned a blind eye to, or were even helping, countries such as Pakistan acquire bomb technology.

In order to keep this information from becoming public, Sibel’s case has been swept under the blanket of secrecy by the invocation of the State Secrets Privilege.

Destruction of Evidence

In a subsequent article, The Times also reported that the FBI “has been accused of covering up a file detailing government dealings with a network stealing nuclear secrets.” The case file, 203A-WF-210023, was known to exist, but the FBI now denies that it exists. The question at the time was whether the FBI was lying about the existence of the file, or whether the case file, which contained all the evidence of a multi-year counterintelligence investigation, had been destroyed. I had been leaning toward the option that the FBI was hiding the existence of the file, but given that the US government has apparently been able to orchestrate the destruction of evidence in the Swiss Tinner case, it’s easier to imagine that they could, and would, destroy their own case file.

Tenuous Justifications

The main argument for the destruction of the Tinner evidence is that it had to be destroyed in case the nuclear blueprints somehow got into the hands of terrorists or rogue states. This is obviously a worthy objective, however:

a) Copies of the exact same information are known to exist elsewhere, and is suspected to be on the Khan network computers in Dubai.

b) There is no indication in any of the media reports that any effort was made to destroy only the sensitive information while maintaining the evidence required to prosecute the Tinners.

c) The US (and UK) allowed the network to proliferate nuclear hardware and nuclear know-how for years without apparently being concerned about the fallout. Why the concern all of a sudden with the Tinner case?

The Times accurately described how the US has ignored proliferation for years, without any apparent concern:

“The wider nuclear network has been monitored for many years by a joint Anglo-American intelligence effort. But rather than shut it down, investigations by law enforcement bodies such as the FBI and Britain’s Revenue & Customs have been aborted to preserve diplomatic relations.”

In Sibel’s case, the FBI watched while the network delivered nuclear product not only to their acknowledged end-customers, but also while freelancers within the network made copies of the information stolen “from every nuclear agency in the United States” and sold it to the highest bidder. There’s no indication that the US government did anything to stop the flow of any of this information at the time, but rather went to extraordinary lengths to ensure that Sibel’s knowledge of these events did not become public. Similarly, people at the Pentagon and State Department were able to ensure that the honest counterintelligence agents at the FBI were prevented from moving forward on any of their multi-year investigations that had discovered all of these nefarious activities.

After all this, we are now being asked to believe that the destruction of evidence in the Tinner case is to prevent secure information from getting in the hands of terrorists? Please.

Where is the Media?

One other similarity between Sibel’s case and the Tinner case is the absence of the US mainstream media. The Tinner case broke on May 23. The Guardian article was on May 31. The US media has been completely AWOL on this story, apart from a single AP story that ran in some venues on May 23. UPI ran a short article based on the Guardian story, and Time ran an article on June 3. The New York Times hasn’t run a single article on the story.

The silence (1,2) is baffling.

Summary

The US government has done just about everything it can to ensure that Sibel Edmonds is prohibited from spilling the beans on what she knows about the nuclear black market, among other things. Now we see the hand of the US government apparently reaching into a foreign democracy, exporting the concept of the ‘unitary executive’ and upsetting the balance of powers, to destroy evidence which was to be used to prosecute crimes involving the spread of nuclear weapons to rogue regimes.

The US government had previously demonstrated that it didn’t wanted to prosecute these crimes, therefore their flimsy ex-poste rationales for destroying the evidence, in secret, need to be held up for extra scrutiny.

What’s going on???

***

Crossposted at Let Sibel Edmonds Speak

For more background on Sibel’s case and the nuclear black market, see my “Sibel Edmonds Case: Nukes for sale (Pt 2)” and “Sibel Edmonds Case: Benazir and The ‘Islamic’ Bomb

Moles Wanted

May 22, 2008

In preparation for the Republican National Convention, the FBI is soliciting informants to keep tabs on local protest groups

Moles Wanted

By Matt Snyders

They were looking for an informant to show up at

They were looking for an informant to show up at “vegan potlucks” throughout the Twin Cities and rub shoulders with RNC protestors.

Paul Carroll was riding his bike when his cell phone vibrated.

Once he arrived home from the Hennepin County Courthouse, where he’d been served a gross misdemeanor for spray-painting the interior of a campus elevator, the lanky, wavy-haired University of Minnesota sophomore flipped open his phone and checked his messages. He was greeted by a voice he recognized immediately. It belonged to U of M Police Sgt. Erik Swanson, the officer to whom Carroll had turned himself in just three weeks earlier. When Carroll called back, Swanson asked him to meet at a coffee shop later that day, going on to assure a wary Carroll that he wasn’t in trouble.

Carroll, who requested that his real name not be used, showed up early and waited anxiously for Swanson’s arrival. Ten minutes later, he says, a casually dressed Swanson showed up, flanked by a woman whom he introduced as FBI Special Agent Maureen E. Mazzola. For the next 20 minutes, Mazzola would do most of the talking.

“She told me that I had the perfect ‘look,’” recalls Carroll. “And that I had the perfect personality—they kept saying I was friendly and personable—for what they were looking for.”

What they were looking for, Carroll says, was an informant—someone to show up at “vegan potlucks” throughout the Twin Cities and rub shoulders with RNC protestors, schmoozing his way into their inner circles, then reporting back to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, a partnership between multiple federal agencies and state and local law enforcement. The effort’s primary mission, according to the Minneapolis division’s website, is to “investigate terrorist acts carried out by groups or organizations which fall within the definition of terrorist groups as set forth in the current United States Attorney General Guidelines.”

Carroll would be compensated for his efforts, but only if his involvement yielded an arrest. No exact dollar figure was offered.

“I’ll pass,” said Carroll.

For 10 more minutes, Mazzola and Swanson tried to sway him. He remained obstinate.

“Well, if you change your mind, call this number,” said Mazzola, handing him her card with her cell phone number scribbled on the back.

(Mazzola, Swanson, and the FBI did not return numerous calls seeking comment.)

Carroll’s story echoes a familiar theme. During the lead-up the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City, the NYPD’s Intelligence Division infiltrated and spied on protest groups across the country, as well as in Canada and Europe. The program’s scope extended to explicitly nonviolent groups, including street theater troupes and church organizations.

There were also two reported instances of police officers, dressed as protestors, purposefully instigating clashes. At the 2004 Republican National Convention, the NYPD orchestrated a fake arrest to incite protestors. When a blond man was “arrested,” nearby protestors began shouting, “Let him go!” The helmeted police proceeded to push back against the crowd with batons and arrested at least two. In a similar instance, during an April 29, 2005, Critical Mass bike ride in New York, video footage captured a “protestor”—in reality an undercover cop—telling his captor, “I’m on the job,” and being subsequently let go.

Minneapolis’s own recent Critical Mass skirmish was allegedly initiated by two unidentified stragglers in hoods—one wearing a handkerchief over his or her face—who “began to make aggressive moves” near the back of the pack. During that humid August 31 evening, officers went on to arrest 19 cyclists while unleashing pepper spray into the faces of bystanders. The hooded duo was never apprehended.

In the scuffle’s wake, conspiracy theories swirled that the unprecedented surveillance—squad cars from multiple agencies and a helicopter hovering overhead—was due to the presence of RNC protesters in the ride. The MPD publicly denied this. But during the trial of cyclist Gus Ganley, MPD Sgt. David Stichter testified that a task force had been created to monitor the August 31 ride and that the department knew that members of an RNC protest group would be along for the ride.

“This is all part of a larger government effort to quell political dissent,” says Jordan Kushner, an attorney who represented Ganley and other Critical Mass arrestees. “The Joint Terrorism Task Force is another example of using the buzzword ‘terrorism’ as a basis to clamp down on people’s freedoms and push forward a more authoritarian government.”

Shipyard Workers Organize to Stop 21st Century Slavery

March 14, 2008

Shipyard Workers Organize to Stop 21st Century Slavery

By Minnesota Workday
Source: Workdayminnesota.org

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PASCAGOULA, Miss. – More than 100 workers, carrying signs reading “I Am A Man,” walked off the job at a Mississippi shipyard last week to protest conditions of slavery. Their struggle for justice comes 40 years after the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., marched with striking Memphis sanitation workers carrying the same signs.

 

The shipyard workers — who are from India — have filed a class action suit against Signal International, a marine fabrication company; recruiters in India and the United States; and a New Orleans immigration lawyer, Malvern Burnett; accusing them of forced labor, human trafficking, fraud and civil rights violations.

 

The suit charges that in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, more than 500 Indian men “were trafficked into the United States through the federal government’s H-2B guestworker program to provide labor and services . . . Plaintiffs were subjected to forced labor as welders, pipefitters, shipfitters, and other marine fabrication workers at Signal operations in Pascagoula, Mississippi and Orange, Texas.”

 

At the walkout last Thursday, the workers symbolically threw their hardhats over the fence as they left the shipyard, media reported, and sang the civil rights anthem, “We Shall Overcome.”

 

Saket Soni of the New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice, who served as an interpreter for the workers, said they talk of living “like pigs in a cage” in a company-run “work camp.”

 

One of the workers, Sabulal Vijayan, tried to organize his fellow workers last year and was fired. He then attempted suicide.

 

The exploitation began in 2006 when recruiters in New Orleans and Bombay, together with Signal, a Northrop Grumman subcontractor, used the post-Katrina labor shortage in the Gulf Coast to create a trafficking racket within the guest worker program that President Bush wants to expand, the Workers Center said in a news release. Workers paid up to $20,000 to get jobs in the United States.

 

“They promised us green cards and permanent residency, and instead gave us 10-month visas and made us live like animals in company trailers, 24 to a room,” Vijayan said. “We were trapped between an ocean of debt at home and constant threats of deportation from our bosses in Mississippi.”

 

When the workers began to organize last year, Signal sent armed guards to detain and fire the organizers, the Workers Center said.

 

The lawsuit, filed by the Louisiana Justice Institute, Southern Poverty Law Center and the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, charges violations of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act; the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”); the Civil Rights Act of 1866; the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871; and the Fair Labor Standards Act.

 

“The U.S. State Department calls it ‘a repulsive crime’ when recruiters and employers in other parts of the world bind guest workers with crushing debts and threats of deportation,” said Soni. “This is precisely what is happening on the Gulf Coast.”

 

The lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive damages and injunctions to prevent future exploitation of workers. While the court action moves forward, the workers pledge to continue more demonstrations to call attention to the treatment of workers on the Gulf Coast.

 

This report is adapted from information on http://www.Sajaforum.org,  the blog of the South Asian journalists association, and http://www.Sepiamutiny.com.

Exxon suxx. McCain duxx. By Greg Palast

February 28, 2008

Exxon suxx. McCain duxx. By Greg Palast

Dandelion Salad

By Greg Palast
27 February 2008

Nineteen goddamn years is enough. I’m sorry if you don’t like my language, but when I think about what they did to Paul Kompkoff, I’m in no mood to nicey-nice words.

Next month marks 19 years since the Exxon Valdez dumped its load of crude oil across the Prince William Sound, Alaska. A big gooey load of this crude spilled over the lands of the Chenega Natives. Paul Kompkoff was a seal-hunter for the village. That is, until Exxon’s ship killed the seal and poisoned the rest of Chenega’s food supply.

While cameras rolled, Exxon executives promised they’d compensate everyone. Today, before the US Supreme Court, the big oil company’s lawyers argued that they shouldn’t have to pay Paul or other fishermen the damages ordered by the courts.

They can’t pay Paul anyway. He’s dead.

That was part of Exxon’s plan. They told me that. In 1990 and 1991, I worked for the Chenega and Chugach Natives of Alaska on trying to get Exxon to pay up to save the remote villages of the Sound. Exxon’s response was, “We can hold out in court until you’re all dead.”

Nice guys. But, hell, they were right, weren’t they?

But Exxon didn’t do it alone. They had enablers. One was a failed oil driller named “Dubya.” Exxon was the largest contributor to George W. Bush’s political career after Enron. They were a team, Exxon and Enron. The Chairman of Enron, Ken Lay, prior to his felony convictions, funded a group called Texans for Law Suit Reform. The idea was to prevent Natives, consumers and defrauded stockholders from suing felonious corporations and their chiefs.

When George went to Washington, Enron and Exxon got their golden pass in the appointment of Chief Justice John Roberts. Today, as the court heard Exxon’s latest stall, Roberts said, in defense of Exxon’s behavior in Alaska, “What more can a corporation do?”

The answer, Your Honor, is plenty.

For starters, Mr. Roberts, Exxon could have turned on the radar. What? On the night the Exxon Valdez smacked into Bligh Reef, the Raycas radar system was turned off. Exxon shipping honchos decided it was too expensive to maintain it and train their navigators to use it. So, the inexperienced third mate at the wheel was driving the supertanker by eyeball, Christopher Columbus style. I kid you not.

Here’s what else this poor ‘widdle corporation could do: stop lying.

On the night of March 24, 1989, the Exxon Valdez was not even supposed to leave harbor.

If a tanker busts open, that doesn’t have to mean a thousand miles of shoreline gets slimed – so long as oil-slick containment equipment is in place.

On the night of March 24, 1989, the Exxon Valdez was not supposed have left port. No tanker can unless a spill containment barge is operating nearby. That night, the barge was in dry-dock, locked under ice. Exxon kept that fact hidden, concealing the truth even after the tanker grounded. An Exxon official radioed the emergency crew, “Barge is on its way.”

Paul’s gone – buried with Exxon’s promises. But the oil’s still there. Go out to Chenega lands today. At Sleepy Bay, kick over some gravel and it will smell like a gas station.

What the heck does this have to do with John McCain? The Senator is what I’d call a ‘Tort Tart.’ Ken Lay’s “Law Suit Reform” posse was one of the fronts used by a gaggle of corporate lobbyists waging war on your day in court. Their rallying cry is ‘Tort Reform,’ by which they mean they want to take away the God-given right of any American, rich or poor, to sue the bastards who crush your child’s skull through product negligence, make your heart explode with a faulty medical device, siphon off your pension funds, or poison your food supply with spilled oil.

Now, all of the Democratic candidates have seen through this ‘tort reform’ con – and so did a Senator named McCain who, in 2001, for example, voted for the Patients Bill of Rights allowing claims against butchers with scalpels. Then something happened to Senator McCain: the guy who stuck his neck out for litigants got his head chopped off when he ran for President in the Republican Party in 2000 for what one lobbyists’ website called McCain’s, “his go-it-alone moralism.”

So the Senator did what I call, The McCain Hunch. Again and again he grabbed his ankles and apologized to the K Street lobbyists, reversing his positions on, well, you name it. For example, in 2001, he said of Bush’s tax cuts, “I cannot in good conscience support a tax cut in which so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us at the expense of middle-class Americans.” Now, in bad conscience, the Senator vows to make these tax cuts permanent.

On “Tort Reform,” the about-face was dizzying. McCain voted to undermine his own 2001 Patients Bill of Rights with votes in 2005 to limit suits to enforce it. He then added his name to a bill that would have thrown sealhunter Kompkoff’s suit out of federal court.

In 2003, McCain voted against Bush’s Energy Plan, an industry oil-gasm. But this week, following Exxon’s report that it sucked in $40.6 billion in earnings last year, the largest profit haul in planetary history, McCain failed to join Clinton, Obama, most Democrats and some Republicans on a bill to require a teeny sliver of industry profit go to alternative energy sources. On oil independence, McCain is AWOL, missing in action.

Well, Paul, at least you were spared this.

I remember when I was on the investigation in Alaska, fishermen, bankrupted, utterly ruined – Kompkoff’s co-plaintiffs in the suit before the court – floated their soon-to-be repossessed boats into the tanker lanes with banners reading, “EXXON SUXX.” To which they could now add, about a one-time stand-up Senator: “McCain duxx.”

Greg Palast is author of the New York Times bestsellers Armed Madhouse and The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. Subscribe to his investigative reports at http://www.GregPalast.com

Tomgram: Noam Chomsky, Terrorists Wanted the World Over

February 27, 2008

Tom Dispatch

posted 2008-02-26 15:13:30

Tomgram: Noam Chomsky, Terrorists Wanted the World Over

One of Noam Chomsky’s latest books — a conversation with David Barsamian — is entitled What We Say Goes. It catches a powerful theme of Chomsky’s: that we have long been living on a one-way planet and that the language we regularly wield to describe the realities of our world is tailored to Washington’s interests.

Juan Cole, at his Informed Comment website, had a good example of the strangeness of this targeted language recently. When Serbs stormed the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade, he offered the following comment (with so many years of the term “Islamofascism” in mind): “…given that the Serbs are Eastern Orthodox Christians, will the Republican Party and Fox Cable News now start fulminating against ‘Christofascism?'”

Of course, the minute you try to turn the Washington norm (in word or act) around, as Chomsky did in a piece entitled What If Iran Had Invaded Mexico?, you’ve already entered the theater of the absurd. “Terror” is a particularly good example of this. “Terror” is something that, by (recent) definition, is committed by free-floating groups or movements against innocent civilians and is utterly reprehensible (unless the group turns out to be the CIA running car bombs into Baghdad or car and camel bombs into Afghanistan, in which case it’s not a topic that’s either much discussed, or condemned in our world). On the other hand, that weapon of terror, air power, which is at the heart of the American way of war, simply doesn’t qualify under the category of “terror” at all — no matter how terrifying it may be to innocent civilians who find themselves underneath the missiles and bombs.

It’s with this in mind that Chomsky turns to terror of every kind in the Middle East in the context of the car bombing of a major figure in Lebanon’s Hizbollah movement. By the way, The Essential Chomsky (edited by Anthony Arnove), a new collection of his writings on politics and on language from the 1950s to the present, has just been published and is highly recommended. Tom

The Most Wanted List

International Terrorism
By Noam Chomsky On February 13, Imad Moughniyeh, a senior commander of Hizbollah, was assassinated in Damascus. “The world is a better place without this man in it,” State Department spokesperson Sean McCormack said: “one way or the other he was brought to justice.” Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell added that Moughniyeh has been “responsible for more deaths of Americans and Israelis than any other terrorist with the exception of Osama bin Laden.”

Joy was unconstrained in Israel too, as “one of the U.S. and Israel’s most wanted men” was brought to justice, the London Financial Times reported. Under the heading, “A militant wanted the world over,” an accompanying story reported that he was “superseded on the most-wanted list by Osama bin Laden” after 9/11 and so ranked only second among “the most wanted militants in the world.”

The terminology is accurate enough, according to the rules of Anglo-American discourse, which defines “the world” as the political class in Washington and London (and whoever happens to agree with them on specific matters). It is common, for example, to read that “the world” fully supported George Bush when he ordered the bombing of Afghanistan. That may be true of “the world,” but hardly of the world, as revealed in an international Gallup Poll after the bombing was announced. Global support was slight. In Latin America, which has some experience with U.S. behavior, support ranged from 2% in Mexico to 16% in Panama, and that support was conditional upon the culprits being identified (they still weren’t eight months later, the FBI reported), and civilian targets being spared (they were attacked at once). There was an overwhelming preference in the world for diplomatic/judicial measures, rejected out of hand by “the world.”

Following the Terror Trail

In the present case, if “the world” were extended to the world, we might find some other candidates for the honor of most hated arch-criminal. It is instructive to ask why this might be true.

The Financial Times reports that most of the charges against Moughniyeh are unsubstantiated, but “one of the very few times when his involvement can be ascertained with certainty [is in] the hijacking of a TWA plane in 1985 in which a U.S. Navy diver was killed.” This was one of two terrorist atrocities that led a poll of newspaper editors to select terrorism in the Middle East as the top story of 1985; the other was the hijacking of the passenger liner Achille Lauro, in which a crippled American, Leon Klinghoffer, was brutally murdered. That reflects the judgment of “the world.” It may be that the world saw matters somewhat differently.

The Achille Lauro hijacking was a retaliation for the bombing of Tunis ordered a week earlier by Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres. His air force killed 75 Tunisians and Palestinians with smart bombs that tore them to shreds, among other atrocities, as vividly reported from the scene by the prominent Israeli journalist Amnon Kapeliouk. Washington cooperated by failing to warn its ally Tunisia that the bombers were on the way, though the Sixth Fleet and U.S. intelligence could not have been unaware of the impending attack. Secretary of State George Shultz informed Israeli Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir that Washington “had considerable sympathy for the Israeli action,” which he termed “a legitimate response” to “terrorist attacks,” to general approbation. A few days later, the UN Security Council unanimously denounced the bombing as an “act of armed aggression” (with the U.S. abstaining). “Aggression” is, of course, a far more serious crime than international terrorism. But giving the United States and Israel the benefit of the doubt, let us keep to the lesser charge against their leadership.

A few days after, Peres went to Washington to consult with the leading international terrorist of the day, Ronald Reagan, who denounced “the evil scourge of terrorism,” again with general acclaim by “the world.”

The “terrorist attacks” that Shultz and Peres offered as the pretext for the bombing of Tunis were the killings of three Israelis in Larnaca, Cyprus. The killers, as Israel conceded, had nothing to do with Tunis, though they might have had Syrian connections. Tunis was a preferable target, however. It was defenseless, unlike Damascus. And there was an extra pleasure: more exiled Palestinians could be killed there.

The Larnaca killings, in turn, were regarded as retaliation by the perpetrators: They were a response to regular Israeli hijackings in international waters in which many victims were killed — and many more kidnapped and sent to prisons in Israel, commonly to be held without charge for long periods. The most notorious of these has been the secret prison/torture chamber Facility 1391. A good deal can be learned about it from the Israeli and foreign press. Such regular Israeli crimes are, of course, known to editors of the national press in the U.S., and occasionally receive some casual mention.

Klinghoffer’s murder was properly viewed with horror, and is very famous. It was the topic of an acclaimed opera and a made-for-TV movie, as well as much shocked commentary deploring the savagery of Palestinians — “two-headed beasts” (Prime Minister Menachem Begin), “drugged roaches scurrying around in a bottle” (Chief of Staff Raful Eitan), “like grasshoppers compared to us,” whose heads should be “smashed against the boulders and walls” (Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir). Or more commonly just “Araboushim,” the slang counterpart of “kike” or “nigger.”

Thus, after a particularly depraved display of settler-military terror and purposeful humiliation in the West Bank town of Halhul in December 1982, which disgusted even Israeli hawks, the well-known military/political analyst Yoram Peri wrote in dismay that one “task of the army today [is] to demolish the rights of innocent people just because they are Araboushim living in territories that God promised to us,” a task that became far more urgent, and was carried out with far more brutality, when the Araboushim began to “raise their heads” a few years later.

We can easily assess the sincerity of the sentiments expressed about the Klinghoffer murder. It is only necessary to investigate the reaction to comparable U.S.-backed Israeli crimes. Take, for example, the murder in April 2002 of two crippled Palestinians, Kemal Zughayer and Jamal Rashid, by Israeli forces rampaging through the refugee camp of Jenin in the West Bank. Zughayer’s crushed body and the remains of his wheelchair were found by British reporters, along with the remains of the white flag he was holding when he was shot dead while seeking to flee the Israeli tanks which then drove over him, ripping his face in two and severing his arms and legs. Jamal Rashid was crushed in his wheelchair when one of Israel’s huge U.S.-supplied Caterpillar bulldozers demolished his home in Jenin with his family inside. The differential reaction, or rather non-reaction, has become so routine and so easy to explain that no further commentary is necessary.

Car Bomb

Plainly, the 1985 Tunis bombing was a vastly more severe terrorist crime than the Achille Lauro hijacking, or the crime for which Moughniyeh’s “involvement can be ascertained with certainty” in the same year. But even the Tunis bombing had competitors for the prize for worst terrorist atrocity in the Mideast in the peak year of 1985.

One challenger was a car-bombing in Beirut right outside a mosque, timed to go off as worshippers were leaving Friday prayers. It killed 80 people and wounded 256. Most of the dead were girls and women, who had been leaving the mosque, though the ferocity of the blast “burned babies in their beds,” “killed a bride buying her trousseau,” and “blew away three children as they walked home from the mosque.” It also “devastated the main street of the densely populated” West Beirut suburb, reported Nora Boustany three years later in the Washington Post.

The intended target had been the Shi’ite cleric Sheikh Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah, who escaped. The bombing was carried out by Reagan’s CIA and his Saudi allies, with Britain’s help, and was specifically authorized by CIA Director William Casey, according to Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward’s account in his book Veil: The Secret Wars of the CIA, 1981-1987. Little is known beyond the bare facts, thanks to rigorous adherence to the doctrine that we do not investigate our own crimes (unless they become too prominent to suppress, and the inquiry can be limited to some low-level “bad apples” who were naturally “out of control”).

“Terrorist Villagers”

A third competitor for the 1985 Mideast terrorism prize was Prime Minister Peres’ “Iron Fist” operations in southern Lebanese territories then occupied by Israel in violation of Security Council orders. The targets were what the Israeli high command called “terrorist villagers.” Peres’s crimes in this case sank to new depths of “calculated brutality and arbitrary murder” in the words of a Western diplomat familiar with the area, an assessment amply supported by direct coverage. They are, however, of no interest to “the world” and therefore remain uninvestigated, in accordance with the usual conventions. We might well ask whether these crimes fall under international terrorism or the far more severe crime of aggression, but let us again give the benefit of the doubt to Israel and its backers in Washington and keep to the lesser charge.

These are a few of the thoughts that might cross the minds of people elsewhere in the world, even if not those of “the world,” when considering “one of the very few times” Imad Moughniyeh was clearly implicated in a terrorist crime.

The U.S. also accuses him of responsibility for devastating double suicide truck-bomb attacks on U.S. Marine and French paratrooper barracks in Lebanon in 1983, killing 241 Marines and 58 paratroopers, as well as a prior attack on the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, killing 63, a particularly serious blow because of a meeting there of CIA officials at the time.

The Financial Times has, however, attributed the attack on the Marine barracks to Islamic Jihad, not Hizbollah. Fawaz Gerges, one of the leading scholars on the jihadi movements and on Lebanon, has written that responsibility was taken by an “unknown group called Islamic Jihad.” A voice speaking in classical Arabic called for all Americans to leave Lebanon or face death. It has been claimed that Moughniyeh was the head of Islamic Jihad at the time, but to my knowledge, evidence is sparse.

The opinion of the world has not been sampled on the subject, but it is possible that there might be some hesitancy about calling an attack on a military base in a foreign country a “terrorist attack,” particularly when U.S. and French forces were carrying out heavy naval bombardments and air strikes in Lebanon, and shortly after the U.S. provided decisive support for the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon, which killed some 20,000 people and devastated the south, while leaving much of Beirut in ruins. It was finally called off by President Reagan when international protest became too intense to ignore after the Sabra-Shatila massacres.

In the United States, the Israeli invasion of Lebanon is regularly described as a reaction to Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) terrorist attacks on northern Israel from their Lebanese bases, making our crucial contribution to these major war crimes understandable. In the real world, the Lebanese border area had been quiet for a year, apart from repeated Israeli attacks, many of them murderous, in an effort to elicit some PLO response that could be used as a pretext for the already planned invasion. Its actual purpose was not concealed at the time by Israeli commentators and leaders: to safeguard the Israeli takeover of the occupied West Bank. It is of some interest that the sole serious error in Jimmy Carter’s book Palestine: Peace not Apartheid is the repetition of this propaganda concoction about PLO attacks from Lebanon being the motive for the Israeli invasion. The book was bitterly attacked, and desperate efforts were made to find some phrase that could be misinterpreted, but this glaring error — the only one — was ignored. Reasonably, since it satisfies the criterion of adhering to useful doctrinal fabrications.

Killing without Intent

Another allegation is that Moughniyeh “masterminded” the bombing of Israel’s embassy in Buenos Aires on March 17, 1992, killing 29 people, in response, as the Financial Times put it, to Israel’s “assassination of former Hizbollah leader Abbas Al-Mussawi in an air attack in southern Lebanon.” About the assassination, there is no need for evidence: Israel proudly took credit for it. The world might have some interest in the rest of the story. Al-Mussawi was murdered with a U.S.-supplied helicopter, well north of Israel’s illegal “security zone” in southern Lebanon. He was on his way to Sidon from the village of Jibshit, where he had spoken at the memorial for another Imam murdered by Israeli forces. The helicopter attack also killed his wife and five-year old child. Israel then employed U.S.-supplied helicopters to attack a car bringing survivors of the first attack to a hospital.

After the murder of the family, Hezbollah “changed the rules of the game,” Prime Minister Rabin informed the Israeli Knesset. Previously, no rockets had been launched at Israel. Until then, the rules of the game had been that Israel could launch murderous attacks anywhere in Lebanon at will, and Hizbollah would respond only within Israeli-occupied Lebanese territory.

After the murder of its leader (and his family), Hizbollah began to respond to Israeli crimes in Lebanon by rocketing northern Israel. The latter is, of course, intolerable terror, so Rabin launched an invasion that drove some 500,000 people out of their homes and killed well over 100. The merciless Israeli attacks reached as far as northern Lebanon.

In the south, 80% of the city of Tyre fled and Nabatiye was left a “ghost town,” Jibshit was about 70% destroyed according to an Israeli army spokesperson, who explained that the intent was “to destroy the village completely because of its importance to the Shi’ite population of southern Lebanon.” The goal was “to wipe the villages from the face of the earth and sow destruction around them,” as a senior officer of the Israeli northern command described the operation.

Jibshit may have been a particular target because it was the home of Sheikh Abdul Karim Obeid, kidnapped and brought to Israel several years earlier. Obeid’s home “received a direct hit from a missile,” British journalist Robert Fisk reported, “although the Israelis were presumably gunning for his wife and three children.” Those who had not escaped hid in terror, wrote Mark Nicholson in the Financial Times, “because any visible movement inside or outside their houses is likely to attract the attention of Israeli artillery spotters, who… were pounding their shells repeatedly and devastatingly into selected targets.” Artillery shells were hitting some villages at a rate of more than 10 rounds a minute at times.

All of this received the firm support of President Bill Clinton, who understood the need to instruct the Araboushim sternly on the “rules of the game.” And Rabin emerged as another grand hero and man of peace, so different from the two-legged beasts, grasshoppers, and drugged roaches.

This is only a small sample of facts that the world might find of interest in connection with the alleged responsibility of Moughniyeh for the retaliatory terrorist act in Buenos Aires.

Other charges are that Moughniyeh helped prepare Hizbollah defenses against the 2006 Israeli invasion of Lebanon, evidently an intolerable terrorist crime by the standards of “the world,” which understands that the United States and its clients must face no impediments in their just terror and aggression.

The more vulgar apologists for U.S. and Israeli crimes solemnly explain that, while Arabs purposely kill people, the U.S. and Israel, being democratic societies, do not intend to do so. Their killings are just accidental ones, hence not at the level of moral depravity of their adversaries. That was, for example, the stand of Israel’s High Court when it recently authorized severe collective punishment of the people of Gaza by depriving them of electricity (hence water, sewage disposal, and other such basics of civilized life).

The same line of defense is common with regard to some of Washington’s past peccadilloes, like the destruction in 1998 of the al-Shifa pharmaceutical plant in Sudan. The attack apparently led to the deaths of tens of thousands of people, but without intent to kill them, hence not a crime on the order of intentional killing — so we are instructed by moralists who consistently suppress the response that had already been given to these vulgar efforts at self-justification.

To repeat once again, we can distinguish three categories of crimes: murder with intent, accidental killing, and murder with foreknowledge but without specific intent. Israeli and U.S. atrocities typically fall into the third category. Thus, when Israel destroys Gaza’s power supply or sets up barriers to travel in the West Bank, it does not specifically intend to murder the particular people who will die from polluted water or in ambulances that cannot reach hospitals. And when Bill Clinton ordered the bombing of the al-Shifa plant, it was obvious that it would lead to a humanitarian catastrophe. Human Rights Watch immediately informed him of this, providing details; nevertheless, he and his advisers did not intend to kill specific people among those who would inevitably die when half the pharmaceutical supplies were destroyed in a poor African country that could not replenish them.

Rather, they and their apologists regarded Africans much as we do the ants we crush while walking down a street. We are aware that it is likely to happen (if we bother to think about it), but we do not intend to kill them because they are not worthy of such consideration. Needless to say, comparable attacks by Araboushim in areas inhabited by human beings would be regarded rather differently.

If, for a moment, we can adopt the perspective of the world, we might ask which criminals are “wanted the world over.”

Noam Chomsky is the author of numerous best-selling political works. His latest books are Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy and What We Say Goes, a conversation book with David Barsamian, both in the American Empire Project series at Metropolitan Books. The Essential Chomsky (edited by Anthony Arnove), a collection of his writings on politics and on language from the 1950s to the present, has just been published by the New Press.

Copyright 2008 Noam Chomsky

Ellen Mariani: ‘Bush knew and let it happen’

February 23, 2008

Ellen Mariani: ‘Bush knew and let it happen’

by Joyce Lynn
Prisonplanet
Thursday, Feb 5, 2004
http://www.prisonplanet.com/020504bushknew.html

On September 10, 2001, Ellen Mariani and her husband Louis “spent their last day together as husband and wife on this earth.”

At about 8 a.m. the next day, September 11, George W. Bush sat down for his daily briefing, which included references to the heightened terrorist risk reported throughout the summer but “contained nothing serious enough to call National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice.” The briefing ended about 8:20 a.m.

At 9:05 a.m., Chief of Staff Andrew Card walked up to Bush, who was with a classroom of second graders at Booker Elementary School in Sarasota, Florida, and reportedly whispered in his ear: “A second plane has hit the World Trade Center. America is under attack.”

For the next 7 to 18 minutes, Bush continued to talk with the children about a goat story as Mariani’s husband, who was a passenger on United Airlines Flight 175, crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center.

Mariani’s husband was murdered as the commander-in-chief dallied in a second grade classroom reading a story about a pet goat.

This is Ellen Mariani’s description of her personal nightmare in the daring suit she filed last month against Bush; his father, George H. W. Bush, and top administration officials, calling them “aiders and abettors and conspirators” who “intentionally and deliberately failed to prevent the 9/11 attacks.”

Mariani alleges the defendants “let the attacks happen for one chilling reason: to profit personally or politically from the so-called ‘International War on Terror.'”

“The reasons why 9/11 occurred are no longer a national security risk, but a national security disgrace and tragedy,” Mariani declares.

Mariani believes Bush “allowed the attacks to take place to compel public anger and outcry to engage our nation and our military men and women in a preventable international war on terror for personal gains and agenda.”

Challenging the official version of 9/11, Mariani claims in her 62-page filing that Bush and his father “hold the answers” to why 9/11 occurred.

In the April 2002 article, “Misguided White Guy,” this publication pointed out the possibly corrupt financing cycle of policy and profit by G.H.W. Bush and cronies from his tenure in government. Some of these people are high officials in the current administration or executives in Bush’s private business ventures.

This publication put forth the argument in the article “Law of Conspiracy; Conspiracy of Silence” in October 2002 that Bush and other top administration officials were guilty of the same conspiracy to commit murder of which they accused John Walker Lindh, the American found with the Taliban in Afghanistan, because they remained silent before, during, and after the events of 9/11. The article argued that if Bush administration officials deliberately withheld information for political or financial gain they could be charged under the law of conspiracy.

A range of theories about what happened on 9/11 has emerged. The Bush administration’s story is that a guy with a long grizzled beard living in a cave in Afghanistan surprised the $40 billion a year U.S. intelligence community by hijacking domestic airplanes and crashing them into symbols of U.S. economic dominance and war. Independent journalists, researchers, and activists have put forth evidence to support scenarios that Bush knew about 9/11 and let it happen (Mariani’s suit) and/or that 9/11 was an inside job-an operation of shadow elements of the U.S. government.

In a personal letter to Bush released with the filing, Mariani writes, “On the morning of the attack, you and members of your staff were fully aware of the unfolding events, yet you chose to continue on to the Emma E. Booker Elementary School to proceed with a scheduled event and ‘photo op.'” (Excerpts of the letter follows this article.)

In addition to Bush, other defendants include George H.W. Bush, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, vice president, and president of the U.S.; Vice President Richard Cheney; Attorney General John Ashcroft; Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld; CIA Director George Tenet; Department of Transportation secretary Norman Y. Mineta; chairman of the board of the Council on Foreign Relations Peter G. Peterson; National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, and special master of the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund of 2001 Kenneth R. Feinberg.

Since Mariani filed a civil action last September 12, she says a ‘firestorm” has erupted around Bush’s refusal to comply with the commission investigating 9/11. As a result, on November 26, Mariani filed an amended complaint that includes obstruction of justice.

Mariani charges the defendants violated the U.S. Constitution and provisions of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. Mariani, who lives in New Hampshire, filed her suit (case no. 03-5273) in the Federal District Court of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were signed in Philadelphia, which is in the Eastern District.

Philip Berg, Mariani’s lawyer, was a former deputy attorney general of Pennsylvania and candidate for governor of Pennsylvania. He has woven information from independent 9/11 researchers, activists, and his own investigation into a spellbinding tale that alleges decades of Bush family malfeasance. (Philip J. Berg, Esquire, 9/11 For The Truth, 706 Ridge Pike, Lafayette Hill, PA 19444-1711, 610-825-3134, PJBLAW@aol.com)

Kyle F. Hence, co-founder of the activist organization 9/11 CitizensWatch, has worked closely with Mariani and other victim families. He said about Mariani’s case, “We feel that it is a very important legal action that could, if nothing else, bring more focus on the issues the media continue to largely ignore.” (kylehence@earthlink.net)

Edward Hurley of the Sarah McClendon Study Group, which sponsored a press conference with Mariani and Berg at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, last month, said Mariani’s suit presented “a richly documented case for criminal negligence if not complicity at the highest reaches of our government.”

The Mariani complaint is online at http://www.911forthetruth.com

Mariani asserts Bush, Cheney, and Rice have engaged in a “pattern of criminal activity and obstruction of justice” in violation of the public trust and laws of the United States to achieve their personal goals and agendas.”

Mariani claims that by influencing national security policy as public officials or private citizens the Bush family has profited in arms and oil. She says the pattern dates back to their dealings with Nazi Germany during World War II.

“This historical context will shock Americans who depend on the mainstream media for their political information,” Mariani states.

Mariani says the key to the charges is George H. W. Bush and his government involvement as CIA director (1976-1977), vice president (1980-1988), and president (1989-1992), as well as his subsequent business relationships. The latter includes his association with the Carlyle group, an equity fund that deals with weapons manufacturing.

Information about the Bush family history is beginning to surface in the media, including the book, American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush by Nixon White House aide Kevin Phillips (January 2004) and Republican John Buchanan’s challenge to Bush in the New Hampshire primary which has 9/11 and war profiteering at its core.

According to Mariani’s filing, just as Adolph Hitler played “the anti-communist card to win over skeptical German industrialists,” the Bush family melds political and business interests. “As history and evidence proves, the Bushes got their start as key Hitler supporters,” the suit claims.

Mariani says Prescott Bush, George H.W. Bush’s father, was Hitler’s “propaganda manager” in New York until Franklin D. Roosevelt confiscated his holdings under the Trading With the Enemy Act.

She asserts George H. W. Bush’s long government involvement and his business relations with the bin Laden family yield “a deadly and evil mixture of the Bush and bin Laden regimes.” She says Bush also conducted *personal business and national security deals” with another alleged terrorist, Saddam Hussein.

Mariani asserts that in the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s, “Defendants were allies with Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein during the former Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan and Iran-Iraq war respectively.” She says during these times “personal and political deals were made and it is believed upon discovery, these dealings hold the truth” about 9/11.

The complaint says Cheney still holds Halliburton stock options totaling more than $26 million. Halliburton passed the Standard & Poor’s Index by nearly 40 percent during the past year because of millions of dollars in Department of Defense contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

She maintains G.H.W. Bush’s share in the Carlyle Group’s defense-related profits will show similar appreciation since Bush launched the so-called “War on Terror. ”

Mariani reserves blistering anger for Kenneth Feinberg, administer of the compensation fund of the Air Transportation Safety and System Stabilization Act. Mariani calls the fund “a ploy” to silence lawsuits that could expose Bush’s failure to prevent the 9/11 attacks.

She said Feinberg allowed the Red Cross to stall donations to victim families to increase the families’ financial difficulties. “Many just decided to give up and submit to Feinberg’s fund in return for absolving the government of future accountability,” Mariani charges.

The deadline for 9/11 families to file claims with the fund has passed. Of the official 2,976 deaths, 2,851 families filed claims, forsaking future litigation against the government, airlines, airports, or security firms.

Mariani asserts if G.W. Bush, the Department of Defense, and NORAD had responded “expeditiously” and according to protocol, her husband and “thousands of other innocent people might still be alive today.”

She said as president [sic], G.W. Bush is “solely responsible” for “lapses” in intelligence leading to 9/11. A joint House and Senate Intelligence Committee last July attributed these “lapses” to the CIA and FBI.

Mariani asserts 9/11 has served as “a pretext for a never-ending war against the world, including preemptive strikes against defenseless, but resource rich countries.” It also has served as a pretext for “draconian measures of repression” in the U.S., including the Department of Homeland Security and USA PATRIOT Act.

The suit outlines historical roots of war-provoking deception such as Operation Northwoods, which the Joint Chiefs of Staff proposed in 1962. It included a plan for the U.S. to shoot down civilian airplanes and blame the act on Fidel Castro as a pretext for launching a war against Cuba. The Kennedy administration nixed the plan.

Other war-propelling hoaxes include the sinking of the Maine; the bombardment of Pearl Harbor, which evidence indicates President Roosevelt knew about, and the Gulf of Tonkin “provocation,” which led to escalation of the Vietnam conflict.

Less than a month after the February 27, 1933, Reichstag fire, which the Nazis blamed on the Communists, Hitler became Supreme Commander of Germany setting the stage for the repression and horror that followed.

To substantiate the foreknowledge claim, the suit says on August 6, 2001, one month before the 9/11 attacks, Condoleezza Rice provided a written brief to Bush at his Texas ranch that warned Osama bin Laden might hijack U.S. aircraft.

The suit claims “the single most damning indictment” was the failure of the Department of Defense/NORAD to follow normal military protocol as standard procedure. “It is a matter of routine procedure for fighter-jets to intercept commercial airliners to regain contact with the pilot.

“Flights 175, 77, and 93 had the same pattern of delays in notification and in scrambling fighter jets, delays that are unimaginable considering a plane had, by this time, already hit the World Trade Center.”

Mariani also charges Peter G. Peterson, chairman of the board of the Council on Foreign Relations, provided Bush and other officials “with critical national security advice contrary to the best interests of the American Public.”

Mariani said she hopes “revealing the truth of 9/11” will mean no longer can “so few control so many for self-gain and personal agendas.”

Half of New Yorkers Believe US Leaders Had Foreknowledge of Impending 9-11 Attacks and “Consciously Failed” To Act; 66% Call For New Probe of Unanswered Questions by Congress or New York’s Attorney General, New Zogby International Poll Reveals

February 23, 2008

Half of New Yorkers Believe US Leaders Had Foreknowledge of Impending 9-11 Attacks and “Consciously Failed” To Act; 66% Call For New Probe of Unanswered Questions by Congress or New York’s Attorney General, New Zogby International Poll Reveals

On the eve of a Republican National Convention invoking 9/11 symbols, sound bytes and imagery, half (49.3%) of New York City residents and 41% of New York citizens overall say that some of our leaders “knew in advance that attacks were planned on or around September 11, 2001, and that they consciously failed to act,” according to the poll conducted by Zogby International. The poll of New York residents was conducted from Tuesday August 24 through Thursday August 26, 2004. Overall results have a margin of sampling error of +/-3.5.

The poll is the first of its kind conducted in America that surveys attitudes regarding US government complicity in the 9/11 tragedy. Despite the acute legal and political implications of this accusation, nearly 30% of registered Republicans and over 38% of those who described themselves as “very conservative” supported the claim.

The charge found very high support among adults under 30 (62.8%), African-Americans (62.5%), Hispanics (60.1%), Asians (59.4%), and “Born Again” Evangelical Christians (47.9%).

Less than two in five (36%) believe that the 9/11 Commission had “answered all the important questions about what actually happened on September 11th,” and two in three (66%) New Yorkers (and 56.2% overall) called for another full investigation of the “still unanswered questions” by Congress or Elliot Spitzer, New York’s Attorney General. Self-identified “very liberal” New Yorkers supported a new inquiry by a margin of three to one, but so did half (53%) of “very conservative” citizens across the state. The call for a deeper probe was especially strong from Hispanics (75.6%), African-Americans (75.3%) citizens with income from $15-25K (74.3%), women (62%) and Evangelicals (59.9%).

W. David Kubiak, executive director of 911truth.org, the group that commissioned the poll, expressed genuine surprise that New Yorkers’ belief in the administration’s complicity is as high or higher than that seen overseas. “We’re familiar with high levels of 9/11 skepticism abroad where there has been open debate of the evidence for US government complicity. On May 26th the Toronto Star reported a national poll showing that 63% of Canadians are also convinced US leaders had ‘prior knowledge’ of the attacks yet declined to act. There was no US coverage of this startling poll or the facts supporting the Canadians’ conclusions, and there has been virtually no debate on the victim families’ scores of still unanswered questions. I think these numbers show that most New Yorkers are now fed up with the silence, and that politicians trying to exploit 9/11 do so at their peril. The 9/11 case is not closed and New York’s questions are not going away.”

Nicholas Levis of NY911truth.org, an advisor on the poll, agrees, “The 9/11 Commission gave us a plenty of ‘recommendations’, but far more plentiful were the discrepancies, gaps and omissions in their supposedly ‘final’ report. How can proposals based on such deficient findings ever make us safe? We think these poll numbers are basically saying, ‘Wait just a minute. What about the scores of still outstanding questions? What about the unexplained collapses of WTC 7, our air defenses, official accountability, the chain of command on 9/11, the anthrax, insider trading & FBI field probes? There’s so much more to this story that we need to know about.’  When such a huge majority of New Yorkers want a new investigation, it will be interesting to see how quickly Attorney General Spitzer and our legislators respond.”

SCOPE: The poll covered five areas of related interest: 1) Iraq – do New Yorkers think that our leaders “deliberately misled” us before the war (51.2% do); 2) the 9/11 Commission – did it answer all the “important questions” (only 36% said yes); 3) the inexplicable and largely unreported collapse of the third WTC skyscraper on 9/11 – what was its number (28% of NYC area residents knew); 4) the question on complicity; and 5) how many wanted a new 9/11 probe. All inquiries about questions, responses and demographics should be directed to Zogby International.

SPONSOR: 911truth.org is a coalition of researchers, journalists and victim family members working to expose and resolve the hundreds of critical questions still swirling around 9/11, especially the nearly 400 questions that the Family Steering Committee filed with the 9/11Commission which they fought to create. Initially welcomed by the commissioners as a “road map” for their inquiry, these queries cut to the heart of 9/11 crimes and accountability. Specifically, they raised the central issues of motive, means and cui bono (who profited?). But the Commission ignored the majority of these questions, opting only to explore system failures, miscommunications and incompetence. The victim families’ most incisive issues remain unaddressed to this day. The Zogby International poll was also cosponsored by Walden Three (walden3.org) and 9/11 Citizens Watch (911citizenswatch.org), a watchdog group which has monitored the Commission since its inception and will release its findings, “The 9/11 Omission Report,” in several weeks.

On September 9th and 11th, 911Truth.org will cosponsor two large successive inquiries in New York, a preliminary 9/11 Citizens Commission hearing and “Confronting the Evidence: 9/11 and the Search for Truth,” a research-focused evidentiary forum. These inquiries will examine many of the 9/11 Commission-shunned questions and discuss preparation of a probable cause complaint demanding a grand jury and criminal investigation from the New York Attorney General. Possible charges range from criminal negligence and gross dereliction of duty to foreknowledge, complicity and subsequent obstruction of justice. For details and developments, see http://www.911truth.org. For press info, contact Kyle Hence 212-243-7787 kylehence@earthlink.net

Zogby International conducted interviews of 808 adults chosen at random in New York State. All calls were made from Zogby International headquarters in Utica, N.Y., from 8/24/04 through 8/26/04. The margin of error is +/- 3.5 percentage points. Slight weights were added to region, party, age, race, religion, and gender to more accurately reflect the population. Margins of error are higher in sub-groups.

(8/30/2004)

FBI: Bin Laden Not Wanted for 9/11?

February 22, 2008

FBI: Bin Laden Not Wanted for 9/11?

By Enver Masud

The Milli Gazette Online

11 June 2006

The FBI’s “Most Wanted Terrorists” web page does not state that Bin Laden is wanted for the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

The FBI page states: “Usama Bin Laden is wanted in connection with the August 7, 1998, bombings of the United States Embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya. These attacks killed over 200 people. In addition, Bin Laden is a suspect in other terrorist attacks throughout the world.”

When asked why there is no mention of 9/11 on the FBI’s web page, Rex Tomb of the FBI’s public affairs unit is reported to have said, “The reason why 9/11 is not mentioned on Usama Bin Laden’s Most Wanted page is because the FBI has no hard evidence connecting Bin Laden to 9/11.”

In the months leading up to the Septmber 11, 2001 attack, it is reported, the Taliban “outlined various ways bin Laden could be dealt with. He could be turned over to the EU, killed by the Taliban, or made available as a target for Cruise missiles.” The Bush administration did not accept the Taliban’s offer.

“On September 20 2001,” according to the Guardian, “the Taliban offered to hand Osama bin Laden to a neutral Islamic country for trial if the US presented them with evidence that he was responsible for the attacks on New York and Washington. The US rejected the offer.”

On September 23, 2001 the BBC reported that four of the hijack “suspects” – Waleed Al Shehri, Abdulaziz Al Omari, Saeed Alghamdi, and possibly Khalid Al Midhar – were alive, and that FBI Director Robert Mueller acknowledged “the identity of several of the suicide hijackers is in doubt.”

Bin Laden, in a September 28, 2001 interview with the Pakistani newspaper Ummat, is reported to have said: “I am not involved in the 11 September attacks in the United States.”

Skeptics dismiss the video tape “found in a house in Jalalabad”, Afghanistan, which allegedly shows Bin Laden confessing to the September 11 attacks. In a December 20, 2001, broadcast by German TV channel Das Erste “two independent translators and an expert on oriental studies found the White House’s translation not only to be inaccurate, but manipulative.”

FBI Director Robert Mueller, in a speech at the Commonwealth Club on April 19, 2002, said: “In our investigation, we have not uncovered a single piece of paper – either here in the United States, or in the treasure trove of information that has turned up in Afghanistan and elsewhere – that mentioned any aspect of the September 11 plot.”

The evidence against Bin Laden, promised by Secretary of State Colin Powell on September 23, 2001, has yet to be made available to the public.

Bin Laden is the “prime suspect” in the September 11 attacks, said President Bush on September 17, 2001, and he pledged to capture him “dead or alive.” (The Wisdom Fund)

How Osama Cracked FBI’s Top 10

February 22, 2008

How Osama Cracked FBI’s Top 10

Robin Clewley Email 09.27.01 | 2:00 AM

When the terrorists who commandeered the four airplanes in the Sept. 11 attacks were identified, their faces appeared in news publications all over the world.

President Bush has said he has evidence that Osama bin Laden was behind the attacks, so it would seem obvious that the FBI would include him and other suspects on its 10 most wanted fugitives Web page.

Think again.

Bin Laden is listed, but only for the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya. There is no mention of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing or the attacks on the USS Cole in October 2000, both of which he is widely believed to have orchestrated. And forget about Sept. 11.

The reason? Fugitives on the list must be formally charged with a crime, and bin Laden is still only a suspect in the recent attacks in New York City and Washington.

“There’s going to be a considerable amount of time before anyone associated with the attacks is actually charged,” said Rex Tomb, who is head of the FBI’s chief fugitive publicity unit and helps decide which fugitives appear on the list. “To be charged with a crime, this means we have found evidence to confirm our suspicions, and a prosecutor has said we will pursue this case in court.”

Larry C. Johnson, a former CIA officer who was deputy director of the U.S. State Department Office of Counterterrorism from 1989 to 1993, said in a Sept. 12 interview conducted by Frontline that there is no concrete proof that bin Laden is responsible for the USS Cole and the 1993 WTC attacks, but bin Laden celebrates those attacks and associates himself with people who are responsible for it.

President Bush promises to reveal evidence linking bin Laden to the suicide hijackers who attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Bin Laden has applauded the attacks but denies direct involvement.

Because the list is used to attract the public’s attention to a fugitive, careful consideration must take place before a decision is made, Tomb said. The FBI evaluates if publicity will help or hinder the search for a suspect.

The top 10 list began in 1950 from a suggestion by a reporter from the International News Service, the predecessor of the United Press International, who wanted to know the names and descriptions of the toughest cases the FBI was trying to solve. Because of its appeal and the publicity generated by the creation of the list, former director J. Edgar Hoover implemented the 10 most wanted fugitives program.

The average length of time a fugitive remains on the list is one year, and of the 466 fugitives who have been on the list, 139 have been caught as a direct result of citizen participation, Tomb said. Since the FBI went online, one top 10 fugitive and 13 others have been apprehended because of their presence on the Web. Tomb said the top ten list is the FBI’s most popular Web page and receives 2.5 million hits per month.

Some of the more famous fugitives appearing on the list include James Earl Ray, Ted Bundy and Andrew Cunanan, the man convicted of murdering fashion designer Gianni Versace. The reward for catching a fugitive appearing on the list is $50,000. Any additional reward money is supplied by other government agencies or private groups.

Suspects on the list are not ranked, out of respect for the victims. In addition, the FBI does not want to give more importance to one suspect versus another, Tomb said.

“If you had a food chain up there, most of the public attention would be focused on just a few,” Tomb said. “Victims of the crime might be resentful of the public attention, as if their fugitive doesn’t seem to measure up.”

Bin Laden, the second fugitive listed, is the only terrorist among the top 10. He’s the only terrorist on the list because he’s the only one that’s been formally charged and he still remains at large. In addition, Tomb said, just because the country’s consciousness is currently aimed at terrorists doesn’t mean that other violent crimes that have been committed in the past should be overlooked or forgotten. These criminals should still be on the list.

Bin Laden is officially wanted for “murder of U.S. nationals outside the United States; conspiracy to murder U.S. nationals outside the United States; attack on a federal facility resulting in death.”

The list also includes his vital statistics, including the fact that he is 6 feet 4 inches to 6 feet 6 inches tall and walks with a cane.

Since the government believes bin Laden is in Afghanistan, it’s not likely that Americans will see his picture and then run into him at the corner store. But one expert said that raising awareness about bin Laden could lead to critical clues.

“While it seems like a remote possibility, you can’t discount that the publicity might identify a (terrorist) cell that could perhaps lead to bin Laden,” said Mitchell Hammer, an international negotiation professor at American University. “It’s certainly not going to be a direct route.”

Hammer should know. He has firsthand experience in linking publicity to another terrorist.

He and his colleagues identified links between the Unabomber’s manifesto and letters that Ted Kaczynski had written to his family. Ted Kaczynski’s brother David had read the manifesto in The New York Times and noticed similarities. He enlisted Hammer’s expertise to identify similar characteristics between the manifesto and the letters, which eventually led to Ted Kaczynski’s arrest.

But not all publicity is helpful to a case, Tomb said.

“If the FBI is one or two days behind a suspect, you don’t want to put the fugitive on the list because you might scare them into hiding.”