Under President George W. Bush, the White House urged reporters to withhold accounts about many of the most contentious aspects in the war on terrorism: the existence of a secret prison in Thailand, the Central Intelligence Agency’s interrogation and detention program, warrantless wiretapping and government monitoring of financial transactions.
The Obama administration has persuaded reporters to delay publishing the existence of a drone base in Saudi Arabia, the name of a country in which a drone strike against an American citizen was being considered, the fact that a diplomat arrested in Pakistan was a C.I.A. officer and that an American businessman was working for the agency when he disappeared in Iran.
The timidness with which mainstream media in the U.S. approaches news has been well documented. In fact, the inability of traditional media to do a reasonable job of holding powerful interests accountable has been one of the primary drivers behind the ascendency of alternative news. Despite this reality, one thing we know less about is specifically how the power structure goes about suppressing news it doesn’t want reaching the plebs. Until now.
If President Obama won’t do it, someone else will. Thankfully, a human rights group in Berlin, The European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights, has begun the process of indicting members of the Bush Administration by filing criminal complaints against the architects of the Admin’s torture program.
Calls for an immediate investigation by the German human rights group was started after outrage ensued on the case of a German citizen, Khalid El-Masri, who had been captured by CIA agents in 2004 because of a mistaken identity mix-up and was tortured at a secret prison in Afghanistan.
Wolfgang Kaleck, the general secretary of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights, said: Continue reading »
The case for Aggressive War against George W. Bush and his Administration.
On March 13, 2013, my client, an Iraqi single mother and refugee now living in Jordan, filed a class action lawsuit against George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz in a federal court in California.
She alleges that these six defendants planned and waged the Iraq War in violation of international law by waging a “war of aggression,” as defined by the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, more than sixty years ago. (The current complaint can be found here).
What’s in the more than 9,000 pages of top secrets documents held by the White House that the Senate Intelligence Committee and investigators looking into the Bush administration’s torture program are not allowed to see?
After an unprecedented public skirmish between the Senate Intelligence Committee and the CIA surfaced this week over an investigative panel’s look into the agency’s torture program, President Obama said Wednesday that he and his White House would not “wade into” the controversy.
But according to new reporting by McClatchy, the White House is not only not “uninvolved,” it is actively keeping documents from the Intelligence Committee that it has repeatedly asked to see. As the news agency reports: Continue reading »
Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State under three different administrations Steve R. Pieczenik says he is prepared to tell a federal grand jury the name of a top general who told him directly 9/11 was a false flag attack
Top US government insider Dr. Steve R. Pieczenik, a man who held numerous different influential positions under three different Presidents and still works with the Defense Department, shockingly told The Alex Jones Show yesterday that Osama Bin Laden died in 2001 and that he was prepared to testify in front of a grand jury how a top general told him directly that 9/11 was a false flag inside job.
Pieczenik cannot be dismissed as a “conspiracy theorist”. He served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State under three different administrations, Nixon, Ford and Carter, while also working under Reagan and Bush senior, and still works as a consultant for the Department of Defense. A former US Navy Captain, Pieczenik achieved two prestigious Harry C. Solomon Awards at the Harvard Medical School as he simultaneously completed a PhD at MIT.
Note: Thomas S. Foley is a partner at Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, LLP, an executive committee member for the Trilateral Commission (think tank), and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (think tank).
–Vernon E. Jordan Jr. is of counsel at Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, LLP, an honorary trustee at the Brookings Institution (think tank),Valerie B. Jarrett’s great uncle, a director at the American Friends of Bilderberg (think tank), and a 2008 Bilderberg conference participant (think tank).
– James A. Johnson is a member of the Trilateral Commission (think tank), an honorary trustee at the Brookings Institution (think tank), a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (think tank), a member of the American Friends of Bilderberg (think tank), and a 2008 Bilderberg conference participant (think tank).
– Jessica Tuchman Mathews is a member of the Trilateral Commission (think tank), an honorary trustee at the Brookings Institution (think tank), a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (think tank), the president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (think tank), a director at the American Friends of Bilderberg (think tank), and a 2008 Bilderberg conference participant (think tank).
– Ed Griffin’s interview with Norman Dodd in 1982:
(The investigation into the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace uncovered the plans for population control by involving the United States in war)
For example, Tony Blair – the British Prime Minister – knew that Saddam possessed no WMDs. If America’s closest ally Britain knew, then the White House knew as well.
And the number 2 Democrat in the Senate -who was on the Senate intelligence committee – admitted that the Senate intelligence committee knew before the war started that Bush’s public statements about Iraqi WMDs were false. If the committee knew, then the White House knew as well.
But we don’t even have to use logic to be able to conclude that the White House knew.
Specifically, the former highest-ranking CIA officer in Europe says that Bush, Cheney and Rice were personally informed that Iraq had no WMDs in Fall 2002 (and see this).
Former Treasury Secretary O’Neil – who was a member of the National Security Council – said:
In the 23 months I was there, I never saw anything that I would characterize as evidence of weapons of mass destruction.
Indeed, a former high-level CIA analyst (who chaired National Intelligence Estimates and personally delivered intelligence briefings to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, their Vice Presidents, Secretaries of State, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and many other senior government officials) says that falsified documents which were meant to show that Iraq’s Saddam Hussein regime had been trying to procure yellowcake uranium from Niger can be traced back to Dick Cheney, and that:
CIA Director George Tenet told his “coterie of malleable managers” at the CIA to create a National Intelligence Estimate “to the terms of reference of Dick Cheney’s speech of August 26, 2002, where Dick Cheney said for the first time Saddam Hussein could have a nuclear weapon in a year, he’s got all kinds of chemical, he’s got all kinds of biological weapons.”
Five Things You Should Know About the Torture Memos
By Judge Andrew Napolitano
No. 1. I have read the 175 pages of legal memoranda (the memos) that the Department of Justice (DoJ) released last week. They consist of letters written by Bush DoJ officials to the Deputy General Counsel of the CIA concerning the techniques that may be used by American intelligence agents when interrogating high value detainees at facilities outside the U.S. The memos describe in vivid, gut-wrenching detail the procedures that the CIA apparently inquired about. The memos then proceed to authorize every procedure asked about, and to commend the CIA for taking the time to ask.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said a telephone call he made to U.S. President George W. Bush last week forced Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to abstain in a U.N. vote on the Gaza war, leaving her “shamed.”
Pouring on political bravado in a speech late Monday, Olmert said he demanded to talk to Bush with only 10 minutes to spare before a U.N. Security Council vote Thursday on a resolution opposed by Israel calling for an immediate cease-fire.
“When we saw that the secretary of state, for reasons we did not really understand, wanted to vote in favour of the U.N. resolution … I looked for President Bush and they told me he was in Philadelphia making a speech,” Olmert said.
“I said, ‘I don’t care. I have to talk to him now,'” Olmert said, describing Bush, who leaves office on January 20, as “an unparalleled friend” of Israel.
“They got him off the podium, brought him to another room and I spoke to him. I told him, ‘You can’t vote in favour of this resolution.’ He said, ‘Listen, I don’t know about it, I didn’t see it, I’m not familiar with the phrasing.'”
Olmert said he then told Bush: “‘I’m familiar with it. You can’t vote in favour.’
“He gave an order to the secretary of state and she did not vote in favour of it — a resolution she cooked up, phrased, organised and manoeuvred for. She was left pretty shamed and abstained on a resolution she arranged,” Olmert said.
Fourteen of the Security Council’s 15 members supported the resolution, which has failed to halt Israel’s offensive in the Gaza Strip and Hamas’s cross-border rocket fire.
Olmert, under police investigation over alleged corruption, resigned as prime minister in September but is serving in a caretaker capacity until a new government is formed after Israel’s February 10 parliamentary election.Continue reading »
A father carries his wounded daughter into the al-Shifa hospital after Israeli air strikes in Gaza City, Jan. 6, 2009. Photographer: Saleh Jadallah/Bloomberg News
Jan. 7 (Bloomberg) — The Israeli government will weigh the future of its military operation against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, as mounting casualties among Palestinian civilians increased pressure for a truce.
At least 40 Palestinians were killed when Israeli forces struck a school run by the United Nations in Gaza, a UN official said. Israel, which struck at least 40 more Hamas targets overnight, said it responded after its soldiers were fired at from the building.
The school deaths yesterday added urgency to diplomatic efforts aimed at reaching a cease-fire as the conflict entered its 12th day. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak proposed a new initiative last night and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who has been lobbying throughout the region for a truce, said the casualties at the school demonstrate the urgent need to stop the fighting. “Time works against us,” he said.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice backed the proposal and Mubarak’s call for peace talks in Cairo, which may begin as early as today.
The White House, announcing the meeting with Mr Olmert, gave little indication that Tehran’s nuclear ambitions would be at the top of the agenda
President Bush is to hold White House talks with the Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Monday after publication of a nuclear watchdog’s report this week showing that Iran may have stockpiled enough enriched uranium to make a nuclear bomb.
The International Atomic Energy Agency believes that Iran has amassed 630kg of low enriched(=useless) uranium, up from 480kg in late August. Some experts believe this is enough to produce the weapons-grade material needed for a crude nuclear device similar in size to that which America used to destroy the city of Nagasaki at the end of the Second World War.
Sean McCormack, the US State Department spokesman, said: “It’s concerning. This is a matter that will be taken up next week at the IAEA Board of Governors meeting.” Asked if Tehran now had sufficient material to build a bomb, he suggested that there were different opinions. “Some said it was enough; others said it was not enough, but close,” said Mr McCormack. “In any case, you don’t want Iran to get close.”
In its report, the IAEA said that Iran was working hard roughly to double its number of operating centrifuges. European diplomats say that Iran might have 6,000 centrifuges enriching uranium by the end of the year – and plans to install another 3,000 early next year.
An investigation by the agency’s inspector general finds that officials covered up details of the 2001 incident over Peru that killed two Americans and wounded three other people.
Reporting from Washington — An internal investigation by the CIA found that agency officials engaged in a cover-up to hide agency negligence in the downing of a private airplane over Peru in 2001 as part of a mistaken attack on an aircraft suspected of carrying illegal narcotics.
Excerpts of an internal CIA report released Thursday accuse agency officials of lying to members of Congress and withholding crucial information from criminal investigators and senior Bush administration officials.The disclosure could lead to the reopening of a probe into whether agency officials committed crimes in the attack on the aircraft, which was transporting American missionaries, and then covering it up.
The attack killed Veronica Bowers and her infant daughter and injured three others, including Bowers’ husband and young son. It was carried out by a Peruvian warplane working with CIA surveillance craft.
Rep. Peter Hoekstra of Michigan, the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, described the revelations as “a dark stain” on the CIA and called for information to be shared with the Justice Department to determine whether reopening the investigation is warranted.
“To say these deaths did not have to happen is more than an understatement,” said Hoekstra, who added that the agency’s inspector general had uncovered “continuous efforts to cover the matter up and potentially block criminal investigation.”
WASHINGTON – Despite his stated desire to close the American prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, President Bush has decided not to do so, and never considered proposals drafted in the State Department and the Pentagon that outlined options for transferring the detainees elsewhere, according to senior administration officials.
Mr. Bush’s top advisers held a series of meetings at the White House this summer after a Supreme Court ruling in June cast doubt on the future of the American detention center. But Mr. Bush adopted the view of his most hawkish advisers that closing Guantánamo would involve too many legal and political risks to be acceptable, now or any time soon, the officials said.
The administration is proceeding on the assumption that Guantánamo will remain open not only for the rest of Mr. Bush’s presidency but also well beyond, the officials said, as the site for military tribunals of those facing terrorism-related charges and for the long prison sentences that could follow convictions.
Officials told the paper that the then CIA director George Tenet asked for written approval for secret interrogations, in June 2003. A few days later he got a “brief memo conveying the administration’s approval for the CIA’s interrogation methods”.
Afghan National Army soldiers raise their rifles as they train in Kabul Sept. 21, 2008.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. intelligence agencies conclude in a draft report that Afghanistan is in a downward spiral and they doubt whether the Kabul government can stem the Taliban’s rise, The New York Times reported on Thursday.
The classified report says corruption inside President Hamid Karzai’s government and an increase in attacks by militants operating from Pakistan have accelerated the breakdown in central authority in Afghanistan, the Times said, citing U.S. officials familiar with the document.
Asked to comment on the intelligence report, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said she had not seen it herself but she confirmed that intelligence agencies had been asked to have a close look at Afghanistan.
The observer of a helicopter of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) sits on the back door during a flight from Feyzabad to Kunduz, north of Kabul, September 24, 2008.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two NATO helicopters fired upon by Pakistani forces on Thursday were U.S. military aircraft operating inside Afghanistan, the Pentagon said.
“They were U.S. helicopters,” Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told reporters at a briefing. “The flight path of the helicopters at no point took them over Pakistan.”
A Pakistani military spokesman said the helicopters had crossed the border into Pakistani territory, while Pakistan’s president, Asif Ali Zardari, denied troops had shot at the helicopters, insisting that only warning flares had been fired.
A GOP congressional leader who was wavering on giving President Bush authority to wage war in late 2002 said Vice President Cheney misled him by saying that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had direct personal ties to al-Qaeda terrorists and was making rapid progress toward a suitcase nuclear weapon.
US Congressman Ron Paul says the United States is in Georgia not for democracy but to protect an oil pipeline bypassing Russia.
“We are not for democracy there – we are there to protect a pipeline. And that is tragic for me,” he said.
The remarks came as the US Senate Committee on Armed Services held a hearing to cast Moscow as an aggressor in the 5-day conflict in the Caucasus region but a rift among the members hampered decision making.
Another US congressman has accused Georgia of triggering the conflict despite the Bush administration’s taking side with Tbilisi.
“The recent fighting in Georgia and its breakaway region was started by Georgia. The Georgians broke the truce, not the Russians! And no talk of provocation can change that fact,” said Congressman Dana Rohrabacher.
*Kakistocracy is government by the very worst, least principled, and most incompetent people. You will be forgiven for thinking that the word, kakistocracy, perhaps derives from the word, “caca”, itself derived from the Latin, “cacare”. In fact, kakistocracy derives from the Greek, kakos, meaning “bad”.)
With what moral authority do these mainstays of the neoconservative, corporate elitist, greedy, self-interested Washington regime speak, when in their own closet there are skeletons labelled Abu Ghraib, Iraq, Guantanamo, mass murder, war crimes, illegal invasion, torture, illegal detention, disrespect for international law, denial of due process, rape…?Continue reading »
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – NATO ministers will pledge support for Georgia and reiterate a promise of future membership on Tuesday while criticising Russian intervention in the country and urging Moscow to respect a peace deal, a spokeswoman said.
Washington called an emergency meeting of the 26 NATO foreign ministers to review ties with Moscow and discuss help to Georgia, a former part of the Soviet Union which won its pledge of eventual alliance membership at an April summit in Bucharest.
WASHINGTON – President Bush on Friday accused Russia of “bullying and intimidation” in its harsh military treatment of Georgia, saying the people in the former Soviet republic have chosen freedom and “we will not cast them aside.”
Bush ratcheted up his rhetoric against Moscow as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was in Tbilisi, Georgia to pursue a diplomatic solution to the week-old crisis. Standing alongside Rice, pro-Western President Mikhail Saakashvili said he had signed a cease-fire agreement with Russia that protects Georgia’s interests despite concessions to Moscow.
Rice said all Russian troops “must leave immediately” and said she had been told that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will sign an identical pact.
So you have the colossal audacity, Mr. Bush, to “warn” Russia to pull back? As the wanton, perverse war criminal under whose watch the world saw the crime known as “shock and awe” committed, I’d say you were well out of your mind to suggest that Russia should pull back.
What’s a little shock and awe among inferior people we want to rob and destroy, eh?
What do human beings need an infrastructure for?
Why do they need clean water? Why do they need electricity?
What’s a little torture?
What’s a little regime change? Don’t recall when that was a goal of yours?
What’s a little deviant, perverted sexual experimentation and humiliation?
What’s a few secret detention camps?
What’s wrong with destroying an environment for 4 billion years and generations after generations of people? After all, they’re just rag heads, aren’t they Mr. Bush?
Perhaps when Russia even begins to match your tremendous feats of glory can you speak about pulling back you fool of the worst kind.
GORI, Georgia – Russian armored vehicles rolled deep into western Georgia on Monday, quickly seizing several towns and a military base and slicing open a damaging second front in Russia’s battle with Georgia. Other Russian forces captured the key central city of Gori.
Fighting also raged Monday around Tskhinvali, the capital of the separatist province of South Ossetia. Swarms of Russian planes launched new raids across Georgia, sending screaming civilians running for cover.
The invasions of Gori and the towns of Senaki, Zugdidi and Kurga came despite a top Russian general’s claim earlier Monday that Russia had no plans to enter Georgian territory. By taking Gori, which sits on Georgia’s only east-west highway, Russia has the potential to effectively cut the country in half.