Archive for the 9/11 Category

Saudi Arabia, 9/11 and the “war on terror”[World Socialist Website]

Posted in 9/11, Afghanistan, CIA, Corporate Media Critique, FBI, Iraq, Media cover-up, Pentagon, Saudi Arabia, US "War on Terror", US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA, War crimes on March 26, 2015 by Zuo Shou / 左手

6 February 2015

More than 13 years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, evidence in a federal lawsuit brought by relatives of the victims is a devastating exposure of events and relations long covered up and obscured by the media and political establishment: that Al Qaeda and the 9/11 hijackers were financed by the Saudi monarchy, a top US ally with extensive ties to US intelligence agencies.

Affidavits filed with Federal District Judge George P. Daniels substantiate claims that leading figures in the Saudi monarchy, including its longtime ambassador to Washington, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, a nephew of the current Saudi monarch, King Salman, financially supported Al Qaeda.

The documents include a deposition from Zacarias Moussaoui, the only individual convicted of direct participation in the plot to hijack airplanes and fly them into the World Trade Center and other US targets on September 11, 2001.

Moussaoui testified that while working for Al Qaeda in Afghanistan in the 1990s he prepared a digital database of the group’s financial backers that included Prince Bandar and two other high-ranking Saudi princes: Prince Turki al-Faisal, the longtime head of Saudi intelligence, and Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, chairman of the Kingdom Holding Company and the wealthiest member of the royal family.

He also described working as a courier for bin Laden, bringing messages to members of the Saudi royal family, including Prince Salman, then the governor of Riyadh, who today is King Salman after succeeding to the throne last month.

The New York Times published lead articles Wednesday and Thursday highlighting the new allegations of Saudi backing for the 9/11 attacks. These had less the character of an exposé, however, than of a semi-official attempt to contain the impact of the material being released as a consequence of the 9/11 families’ lawsuit.

This is the apparent reason for the articles’ near-exclusive focus on Moussaoui, a witness whose testimony can be more easily dismissed by the political establishment. The legal papers filed with the federal district court included Moussaoui’s deposition, but much more, including allegations of Saudi complicity in 9/11 from such pillars of the Washington establishment as former senator Robert Graham of Florida. He wrote, “I am convinced that there was a direct line between at least some of the terrorists who carried out the Sept. 11 attacks and the government of Saudi Arabia.”

Graham is in a position to know. He chaired the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2002 when it produced a lengthy report on the 9/11 attacks. This included a 28-page section on Saudi support to the 9/11 hijackers that was classified and suppressed by the Bush administration, an act of censorship that was endorsed and continued by the Obama administration. Senator Graham, who favors the release of this material, wrote, “The 28 pages primarily relate to who financed 9/11, and they point a very strong finger at Saudi Arabia as being the principal financier.”

The evidence of Saudi complicity in the 9/11 attacks is a devastating exposure of the fraudulent nature of the “war on terror,” the axis of US national security policy for more than 13 years.

The Bush administration used the 9/11 attacks as the pretext for wars against Afghanistan, whose government had provided shelter to Osama bin Laden, but had no involvement in 9/11, and against Iraq, which had no connection to either 9/11 or Al Qaeda. Meanwhile Saudi Arabia, the country that supplied Al Qaeda’s funds, its principal leader, and 15 of the 19 hijackers, was deemed a key US ally.

Every official investigation into the 9/11 attacks had to whitewash the Saudi connection—or be censored, like the Senate Intelligence Committee report. The issue was not just the reactionary role of the Saudi monarchy in financing and supporting Al Qaeda, but the close ties between US intelligence agencies and the supposedly anti-American terrorist group—connections on which the latest Times articles are completely silent.

There is every reason to believe that nearly 3,000 Americans were murdered on September 11, 2001 with the tacit or active complicity of sections of the US military-intelligence apparatus. The CIA, FBI and other agencies took no action to disrupt the operations of the terrorists, even though many of the individuals involved were known to US security agencies and several were under active surveillance as they planned and executed the simultaneous hijacking of four US jetliners…

Excerpted; full article link: http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/02/06/pers-f06.html

Advertisements

West should end its hypocrisy on anti-terror war [China Daily]

Posted in 9/11, Afghanistan, Anti-China media bias, Anti-China propaganda exposure, France, Iraq, Nigeria, State Department, US "War on Terror", US imperialism, USA, Western nations' human rights distortions on January 29, 2015 by Zuo Shou / 左手

by Chen Weihua
Jan. 22, 2015

Senior US leaders invited sharp criticism at home for not attending last week’s solidarity rally in Paris against the terrorist attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in which 12 people were killed. As a result, US Secretary of State John Kerry was in Paris this week to make up for the mistake.

However, terrorist attacks on innocent civilians in Nigeria, where Boko Haram fighters killed hundreds of, if not more, ordinary people early this month, have not received the same attention in the US and the Western world as the Paris attack. Yet such double standards and hypocrisy of the Western world is nothing new.

Over the past few years, the US and some Western countries have not responded to the terrorist attacks against innocent civilians in Beijing, Kunming and the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region the way they reacted to the Paris attack.

On several occasions, US State Department spokespersons have used the excuse that they need more information and investigation into the incidents in China to condemn them as terrorist attacks. But they did not ask any such question after the Paris attack.

Some Western news organizations have refused to describe the perpetrators at Kunming railway station in Yunnan province as terrorists, insisting on calling them “knife-wielding attackers”. And on the rare occasions that they have used the word terrorist, they put it within quotation marks as if the ruthless killers in China were any different from those in Paris or elsewhere in the Western world. One CNN report even posed the question, “Terrorism or Cry of Desperation?”, as if killing innocent civilians in China can be somehow justified.

Even though China and the US have common interests in fighting terrorism, some Americans still seem to believe that only those setting off bombs in New York are terrorists while those doing the same in Beijing or any other Chinese city demand a different description.

The West’s double standards are not restricted to China and Nigeria. The decade-old wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of civilians, but the mainstream media outlets in the US have largely ignored the tragedies and focused on the loss of their own troops.

If the number of civilian casualties is a measure of the intensity of a terrorist attack, tragedies like the Sept 11, 2001, attacks have occurred multiple times in Iraq and Afghanistan. But the Western media don’t seem to care much about them.

Some Western observers have even found excuses for West’s inadequate response to the terrorist attacks in Kunming on March 1 last year in which 31 were killed and 141 injured. But by failing to immediately condemn the attacks against innocent civilians in Kunming and Xinjiang, these people have by default condoned the action of the perpetrators.

It is true that terrorists in the eyes of some could be freedom fighters in the eyes of others. That is why Osama bin Laden was a freedom fighter to the US in the 1980s but a top terrorist in the 21st century. And Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela was still on the US terrorism watch list as late as 2008, years after stepping down as South Africa’s president.

There is no doubt that the US and its allies have failed miserably in their “war on terror” despite the more than 1,000 air strikes launched against the Islamic State group. In spite of the heavy bombardments, we have seen terrorists gaining strength and spreading their tentacles to more areas across the world.

And the Western world responds to this deadly threat with double standards.

The author, based in Washington, is deputy editor of China Daily USA.

Article link: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/opinion/2015-01/22/content_19373727_2.htm

‘Cold War Two’ – excerpt from “The Anti-Empire Report” # 131 [Williamblum.org]

Posted in 9/11, Anti-communism, Assassination, Black propaganda, Corporate Media Critique, EU, European Union, Fascism, Germany, IMF - International Monetary Fund, Iraq, Malaysia, Media cover-up, Media smear campaign, Nazism, Psychological warfare, Russia, State Department, Syria, Ukraine, US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA, USA 21st Century Cold War, USSR, Vietnam on November 4, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By William Blum – Published August 11th, 2014

= Cold War Two =

During Cold War One those of us in the American radical left were often placed in the position where we had to defend the Soviet Union because the US government was using that country as a battering ram against us. Now we sometimes have to defend Russia because it may be the last best hope of stopping TETATW (The Empire That Ate The World). Yes, during Cold War One we knew enough about Stalin, the show trials, and the gulags. But we also knew about US foreign policy.

E-mail sent to the Washington Post July 23, 2014 about the destruction of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17:

Dear Editor,

Your July 22 editorial was headed: “Russia’s barbarism. The West needs a strategy to contain the world’s newest rogue state.”

Pretty strong language. Vicious, even. Not one word of hard evidence in the editorial to back it up. Then, the next day, the Associated Press reported:

Senior U.S. intelligence officials said Tuesday that Russia was responsible for ‘creating the conditions’ that led to the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, but they offered no evidence of direct Russian government involvement. … the U.S. had no direct evidence that the missile used to shoot down the passenger jet came from Russia.

Where were these words in the Post? You people are behaving like a rogue newspaper.

– William Blum

I don’t have to tell you whether the Post printed my letter. I’ve been reading the paper for 25 years – six years during Vietnam (1964-1970) and the last 19 years (1995-2014) – usually spending about three hours each day reading it very carefully. And I can say that when it comes to US foreign policy the newspaper is worse now than I can remember it ever was during those 25 years. It’s reached the point where, as one example, I don’t take at face value a word the Post has to say about Ukraine. Same with the State Department, which makes one accusation after another about Russian military actions in Eastern Ukraine without presenting any kind of satellite imagery or other visual or documentary evidence; or they present something that’s wholly inconclusive and/or unsourced or citing “social media”; what we’re left with is often no more than just an accusation. 1 Do they have something to hide?

The State Department’s Public Affairs spokespersons making these presentations exhibit little regard or respect for the reporters asking challenging questions. It takes my thoughts back to the Vietnam era and Arthur Sylvester, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, the man most responsible for “giving, controlling and managing the war news from Vietnam”. One day in July 1965, Sylvester told American journalists that they had a patriotic duty to disseminate only information that made the United States look good. When one of the reporters exclaimed: “Surely, Arthur, you don’t expect the American press to be handmaidens of government,” Sylvester replied: “That’s exactly what I expect,” adding: “Look, if you think any American official is going to tell you the truth, then you’re stupid. Did you hear that? – stupid.” 2

Such frankness might be welcomed today as a breath of fresh air compared to the painful-to-observe double-talk of a State Department spokesperson.

My personal breath of fresh air in recent years has been the television station RT (formerly Russia Today). On a daily basis many progressives from around the world (myself included occasionally) are interviewed and out of their mouths come facts and analyses that are rarely heard on CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, NPR, PBS, Fox News, BBC, etc. The words of these progressives heard on RT are typically labeled by the mainstream media as “Russian propaganda”, whereas I, after a long lifetime of American propaganda, can only think: “Of course. What else are they going to call it?”

As for Russia being responsible for “creating the conditions” that led to the shooting down of Flight 17, we should keep in mind that the current series of events in Ukraine was sparked in February when a US-supported coup overthrew the democratically-elected government and replaced it with one that was more receptive to the market-fundamentalism dictates of the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and the European Union. Were it not for the coup there would have been no eastern rebellion to put down and no dangerous war zone for Flight 17 to be flying over in the first place.

The new regime has had another charming feature: a number of outspoken neo-Nazis in high and low positions, a circumstance embarrassing enough for the US government and mainstream media to turn it into a virtual non-event. US Senator John McCain met and posed for photos with the leader of the neo-Nazi Svoboda Party, Oleh Tyahnybok (photos easily found on the Internet). Ukraine – whose ties to Naziism go back to World War Two when their homegrown fascists supported Germany and opposed the Soviet Union – is on track to becoming the newest part of the US-NATO military encirclement of Russia and possibly the home of the region’s newest missile base, target Moscow.

It is indeed possible that Flight 17 was shot down by the pro-Russian rebels in Eastern Ukraine in the mistaken belief that it was the Ukrainian air force returning to carry out another attack. But other explanations are suggested in a series of questions posed by Russia to the the Secretary-General of the UN General Assembly, accompanied by radar information, satellite images, and other technical displays:

“Why was a military aircraft flying in a civil aviation airway at almost the same time and the same altitude as a civilian passenger aircraft? We would like to have this question answered.”

“Earlier, Ukrainian officials stated that on the day of the accident no Ukrainian military aircraft were flying in that area. As you can see, that is not true.”

“We also have a question for our American colleagues. According to a statement by American officials, the United States has satellite images which show that the missile aimed at the Malaysian aircraft was launched by the militants. But no one has seen these images.” 3

There is also this intriguing speculation, which ties in to the first Russian question above. A published analysis by a retired Lufthansa pilot points out that Flight 17 looked similar in its tricolor design to that of Russian President Putin’s plane, whose plane with him on board was at the same time “near” Flight 17. In aviation circles “near” would be considered to be anywhere between 150 to 200 miles. 4 Could Putin’s plane have been the real target?

There is as well other serious and plausible questioning of the official story of Russia and/or Ukrainian anti-Kiev militias being responsible for the shootdown. Is Flight 17 going to become the next JFK Assassination, PanAm 103, or 9-11 conspiracy theory that lingers forever? Will the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and the Syrian chemical weapons be joined by the Russian anti-aircraft missile? Stay tuned…

Excerpted; full article link (with footnotes): http://williamblum.org/aer/read/131

Four Myths About Obama’s War on ISIS [FAIR Media Advisory]

Posted in 9/11, Afghanistan, Black propaganda, CIA, Corporate Media Critique, Genocide, Iraq, Obama, Pentagon, Psychological warfare, Qatar, Syria, Turkey, US "War on Terror", US imperialism, USA on September 13, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

A reluctant warrior intervenes against a threat to the homeland–or so we’re told

Sept 12, 2014

With Barack Obama’s September 10 announcement of a military plan to launch strikes against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), many pundits might be breathing a sigh of relief. The White House is finally taking the kind of military action they have been recommending for months.

But there are some serious questions that should be asked–about the threat posed by the Islamic State and about some of the assumptions guiding the debate.

–‘Striking the Homeland’

The idea that ISIS poses an immediate threat to the United States–as opposed to its non-Sunni Muslim neighbors–has been a consistent theme in the media, encouraging the public to support war…

-Obama, the Reluctant Warrior

One clear message from corporate media has been that Barack Obama is unusually reticent about using military force…[b]ut Obama’s actual record conflicts with this picture. In Iraq, Obama tried to keep more troops in Iraq than the Bush administration had agreed to in the withdrawal plan it had negotiated. Obama’s substantial achievement in Afghanistan was a massive escalation of that war…

–Congress Gets in the Way

The decision to consult Congress on the matter of starting a war–as required by the Constitution–is often treated as a weakness…

–Finally Intervening in Syria

Throughout the past year, hawkish critics of the White House and many pundits have insisted that the Obama administration should have intervened long ago…

…What seems abundantly clear is that the media’s coverage of the threat posed by the Islamic State–and the group’s savvy dissemination of appalling propaganda–have produced some shift in public opinion. As journalist Glenn Greenwald (Intercept, 9/8/14) remarked:

It’s as though ISIS and the US media and political class worked in perfect unison to achieve the same goal here when it comes to American public opinion: fully terrorize them.

[Edited by Zuo Shou]

Full article link: http://fair.org/take-action/media-advisories/four-myths-about-obamas-war-on-isis/

D-Day anniversary: Commemorating the Second World War and preparing the Third [World Socialist Website]

Posted in 9/11, Afghanistan, Anti-communism, Black propaganda, China, Encirclement of China, Fascism, France, Genocide, Germany, Historical myths of the US, Iraq, Obama, Pentagon, Psychological warfare, Russia, Ukraine, US - Nazi connection, US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA, USSR on June 15, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

7 June 2014

Few will remain unmoved by the appearance Friday on the beaches of Normandy of 90-year-old veterans marking — in many cases for the last time — the slaughter of D-Day in which nearly 20,000 troops — both Allied and German — lost their lives. Those present for the 70th anniversary commemoration were among the lucky who survived that day in 1944, but surely they have remained haunted by the memory of those who did not and marked for their entire lives by this terrible experience of their youth.

The presence of this dwindling band of survivors of World War II — the greatest exercise in mass killing in the history of the planet — only underscored the boundless hypocrisy of the official ceremonies in which President Barack Obama played the leading role.

Historic ironies abounded at Normandy’s 70th anniversary. In the run-up to a ceremony ostensibly marking a decisive defeat for fascism, the US president toured Europe to drum up support for a Ukrainian regime that came to power in a US-backed coup spearheaded by neo-Nazis. These same ultra-right forces are now being employed with Washington’s support to carry out war crimes against the people of eastern Ukraine.

The principal foes of the US and its allies in World War II — Germany and Japan—are today being prodded by Washington to re-militarize for the purpose of assisting US imperialism in the encirclement of Russia and China. In both Germany and Japan, historians are reworking the portrayal of World War II to justify the crimes carried out by German and Japanese imperialism.

Obama’s speech at Omaha beach was typical for the US president, filled with empty rhetoric, historical references stripped of any real content, and personal anecdotes that managed to be both exploitative and insincere.

Obama had next to nothing to say about the cause for which the sacrifices of 70 years ago were made, outside of a brief reference to “Nazi guns” and “Hitler’s wall.” He demonstratively excluded from his potted history any reference to the Soviet Union, which by the time of the Normandy invasion had already inflicted a strategic defeat on the Wehrmacht at Stalingrad. The Red Army was responsible for 80 percent of the casualties inflicted on German forces, and the Soviet people suffered 26 million dead in the war.

Perhaps the most bizarre part of Obama’s speech was his attempt to equate the war fought by the aged veterans brought together in Normandy with the “post-9/11” US military and its wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He predicted that someday “future generations… will gather at places like this to honor them — and to say that these were generations of men and women who proved once again that the United States of America is and will remain the greatest force for freedom the world has ever known.”

What “freedom” did the US bring in wars that killed over a million Iraqis and Afghans? And at what places will future generations gather to mark these wars — Fallujah, Abu Ghraib, Haditha, Bagram prison or the scenes of countless drone strikes, bombings and night raids against civilian populations?

Even as Obama was speaking, his European tour was overshadowed by a right-wing furor in the US media over the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who apparently walked away from the war in Afghanistan after writing that he was “sorry for everything here” and describing the US military as “an army of liars, backstabbers, fools, and bullies.”

In World War II, the American ruling class was largely able to conceal its own militarism and global appetites behind a broader democratic appeal, thanks to the intense hostility of working people in the US and internationally to Hitlerite fascism. Today, it cannot credibly make any such appeal. The American establishment confronts a population that is largely in sync with the sentiments of Sergeant Bergdahl and hostile to foreign military interventions.

World War II, nonetheless, was no more a war for democracy or crusade against fascism than World War I was the “war to end all wars,” or, for that matter, the invasion of Iraq was a struggle against terrorism. In the period leading up to the war, major capitalist interests in Western Europe and the US lauded both Hitler and Mussolini, seeing their fascist dictatorships as bulwarks against socialist revolution…

Excerpted; full article link: https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/06/07/pers-j07.html
****************************
Also see related article: “The Lies Grow More Audacious” by Paul Craig Roberts [on D-day and Normandy landing] – http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/06/06/lies-grow-audacious-paul-craig-roberts/

Obama’s West Point speech – “Psycho Politics” of a dangerous nationalist [TFF Associates & Themes Blog]

Posted in 9/11, Afghanistan, China, Egypt, Germany, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Obama, Pentagon, Russia, Ukraine, US drone strikes, US imperialism, USA, USA 21st Century Cold War, War crimes on June 6, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

May 29, 2014

by Jan Oberg

Lund, Sweden – May 29, 2014

In a speech by the President of the United States of America – read by millions in all corners of our world in minutes – rest assured that every single word has been weighed with utmost care.

With this in mind, Obama’s speech can be analysed as both offending to the rest of us and – exceptionally – weak.

It caused no enthusiasm among the future army officers he spoke to and no enthusiasm among leading Western media.

I will argue that

• Intellectually and morally the speech doesn’t have the basics – full of contradictions and imbued with unbearable self-praise.

• While there is a recognition of ”mistakes” such as ”our” war in Iraq and a potential step-back from interventionism, there is neither an adequate analysis of the past nor of what the future may need in terms of leadership.

• Little had I anticipated that my analysis in the TFF PressInfo on ”Psycho politics in the age of imperial decline” just a few days ago would be confirmed so quickly and so strongly.

This PressInfo is longer than usual. I have wanted to do justice to the speech by quoting its texts at length and commenting.

”By most measures, America has rarely been stronger relative to the rest of the world…Think about it. Our military has no peer.”

Most measures? Wrong. Take trade and investment, political, economic and cultural power relative to the rest of the world; take perceived legitimacy worldwide, take moral/values and take adherence to international law – the U.S. is a shadow of what it was, say, 50 years ago.

True, militarily it is second to none. But that is exactly the problem when you are getting weaker on all other indicators.

”And when a typhoon hits the Philippines, or girls are kidnapped in Nigeria, or masked men occupy a building in Ukraine – it is America that the world looks to for help.”

Even if it were true that the world sees the U.S. as the benign helper, Obama ought to have deplored that countries don’t turn to the multilateral or regional institutions.

The U.S. has, since Yugoslavia, done about everything it could to undermine the U.N. Later he says that ”the UN provides a platform to keep the peace in states torn apart by conflict.”

But is it that really the task of the world’s normatively most important organisation: to make peace where others, including the U.S. itself, has ravaged countries?

The U.S. as a great helper is not a perception shared by many enlightened people – see the failure in the Israel-Palestinian mediation and the handling of Syria. Btw. he doesn’t even mention the Middle East.

”The United States is the one indispensable nation. That has been true for the century passed, and will likely be true for the century to come.”

What in effect Obama is saying here is that every other nation – peoples of the earth – can be dispensed with. Why offend everybody? Why make yourself so good that it becomes pathetic, laughable?

And 100 years more? Just how stupid do the speechwriters in the White House think we are? Regrettably, there is more where it comes from:

”The question we face – the question you will face – is not whether America will lead, but how we will lead, not just to secure our peace and prosperity, but also to extend peace and prosperity around the globe.”

The obsession with leadership that goes through his speech reveals a deep fear of not being a leader for much longer.

But people with little sense of history and young West Point patriots may believe such nonsense – including the stated but unfounded unity between America’s and the world’s peace and prosperity. And peace is extended from the U.S. – it is not something we create together.

”Regional aggression that goes unchecked – in southern Ukraine, the South China Sea, or anywhere else in the world – will ultimately impact our allies, and could draw in our military.”

Here Obama ignores the brilliant opportunity to reach out as a true world leader would to Russia and China at this important moment. And who can talk convincingly about what aggression is and how unacceptable it is?

”Here’s my bottom line: America must always lead on the world stage. If we don’t, no one else will.”

Again the leadership obsession – ”must always lead”. ”If we don’t, no one else will” – well, that could be a much much better world for all humankind! But President Obama believes that only the U.S. can lead.

It is extremely interesting that he does not see the obvious coming: the multipolar world where others contribute in leading the world.

One can only wonder how amusing the people to be lead by Washington the next century in Beijing, Moscow, Delhi, Cape Town, Brasília and other capitals around the world find this?

”First, let me repeat a principle I put forward at the outset of my presidency: the United States will use military force, unilaterally if necessary, when our core interests demand it – when our people are threatened; when our livelihood is at stake; or when the security of our allies is in danger.”

Gone is suddenly the idea of common interests and action with allies. When U.S. interests are at stake – like they were in the ”mistake” called Iraq – the U.S. will do what it has always done: Use the hammer.

”For the foreseeable future, the most direct threat to America at home and abroad remains terrorism. But a strategy that involves invading every country that harbors terrorist networks is naïve and unsustainable.”

What criteria does the intellectuals in his White House team use to conclude that terrorism is the largest threat?

Any 10-year old child could tell about other things to worry about – nuclear weapons, global warming, poverty, cyber warfare, emerging fascism, etc. It hasn’t got anything to do with reality but with his next sentence: ”I am calling on Congress to support a new Counter-Terrorism Partnerships Fund of up to $5 billion”. On top of history’s largest security budget? Enough is never enough!

President Obama goes on to justify drone warfare and liquidation of presumed terrorists without trial without even noticing that fighting terrorism and killing terrorists are two vitally different things.

And then he squares the circle for the umpteenth time:

”In taking direct action, we must uphold standards that reflect our values. That means taking strikes only when we face a continuing, imminent threat, and only where there is near certainty of no civilian casualties. For our actions should meet a simple test: we must not create more enemies than we take off the battlefield.”

OK, I’d like to believe that from today everything will be done differently from every day since 9/11. But I can’t. It is not credible…

…”I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being. But what makes us exceptional is not our ability to flout international norms and the rule of law; it’s our willingness to affirm them through our actions.”

Consider the falseness of this statement. Washington’s ability to flout has, for decades, been second to none.

Furthermore, President Obama again offends all other people around the world by saying that they don’t affirm international norms and the rule of law since they are not exceptional (or are exceptional only for their evil doings).

Now to human rights, dignity, democracy and American idealism! Please read the next two paras together:

”The fourth and final element of American leadership: our willingness to act on behalf of human dignity. America’s support for democracy and human rights goes beyond idealism – it’s a matter of national security. Democracies are our closest friends, and are far less likely to go to war. Free and open economies perform better, and become markets for our goods. Respect for human rights is an antidote to instability, and the grievances that fuel violence and terror /…/

In Egypt, we acknowledge that our relationship is anchored in security interests – from the peace treaty with Israel, to shared efforts against violent extremism. So we have not cut off cooperation with the new government. But we can and will persistently press for the reforms that the Egyptian people have demanded.”

Intellectually and morally this does not make sense. One, the idealist struggle for human rights can not be subordinate to national security. Secondly, Abdel al-Sisi, heading for the Presidency these very hours, is a military junta leader with rampant repression and death penalties in the hundreds on top of his agenda.

Here Obama puts the security argument before the ethics and applies the both/and principle of having no principles. This is not – moral – leadership. It’s profit-making militarism.

What the speech lacks – and the audacity of fear

These are some of the things President Obama wants us to know and believe. But he simply isn’t able to convince. His muddled speech is offending to the rest of the world and every moral principle.

Had any other leader spoken like this Western media commentaries would say that here speaks a dangerous nationalist.

What is conspicuously lacking in the President’s West Point speech?

• Any reasonably accurate appraisal of the world and the role of other nations.

• A sense of humility and respect for allies and other countries in this world.

• Every element of a grand strategy for America, for its foreign and security policy and some kind of vision of what a better world would look like. This speech with all its tired, self-aggrandising rhetorics is a thin cover-up for the fact that there is no such vision or overall strategy.

• Some little hint of reforms of existing institutions or new thinking about globalisation and global democratic decision-making.

• Ideas and initiatives – stretched-out hands – to help the world move towards conflict-resolution in crisis areas such as Ukraine, Syria, Libya, China-Japan and Iran. Not a trace of creativity.

In short – it lacks the essence and practice of exactly the leadership Obama mistakenly believes he and the U.S. today stand for.

In its reality-defying arrogance and self-praise it leaves little hope for those of us who have always been fascinated by the American cultural and other creativity and – earlier – leadership while loathed its empire’s arrogance, exceptionalist militarism and insensitivity to the victims of its policies.

The audacity of hope is crushed. Regrettably, with this speech one has to think more in terms of the audacity of fear to begin to perceive the potentially catastrophic combination of militarism, hubris, a decreasing sense of reality and silly self-praise.

© TFF, The Transnational Foundation 2014

Excerpted; full article link: http://blog.transnational.org/2014/05/tff-pressinfo-why-obamas-speech-should-make-us-think/

Original blog article title: “TFF PressInfo – Why Obama’s speech should make us think”

USA Spy Chief James Clapper Wins Rosemary Award – Worst ‘Open’ Government Performance of 2013 [National Security Archives]

Posted in 9/11, Bourgeois parliamentary democracy, CIA, FBI, National Security Agency / NSA, NSA, Obama, Pentagon, US Government Cover-up, USA on April 5, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

* Whopper to Congress Clinches Worst Open Government Performance of 2013
* Prize Named for Nixon’s Secretary Cites U.S. Surveillance Establishment for Outrageous Secrecy
* Team effort at National Security Agency, Justice Department National Security Division, FBI, and White House misled public, Congress, the Supreme Court, the wiretap court, and even each other
*Spy chief’s lawyers swore under oath the text of the 4th Amendment was classified (TS-SCI)

Posted – March 24, 2014

Previous Rosemary Award Winners:

2012 Justice Department Repeats as Rosemary Award Winner For Worst Open Government Performance

2011 Rosemary Award for Worst Open Government Performance Goes to the Justice Department

2010 Rosemary Award for Worst Open Government Performance Goes to Federal Chief Information Officers’ Council

2009 Rosemary Award for Worst FOIA Performance Goes to FBI

Treasury Wins 2008 “Rosemary Award” as Worst FOIA Agency

Air Force Wins 2007 Rosemary Award for Worst FOIA Performance

CIA Wins 2006 “Rosemary Award” for Worst Freedom of Information Performance by a Federal Agency

Washington, DC, March 24, 2014 – Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has won the infamous Rosemary Award for worst open government performance in 2013, according to the citation published today by the National Security Archive at http://www.nsarchive.org. Despite heavy competition, Clapper’s “No, sir” lie to Senator Ron Wyden’s question: “Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?” sealed his receipt of the dubious achievement award, which cites the vastly excessive secrecy of the entire U.S. surveillance establishment.

The Rosemary Award citation leads with what Clapper later called the “least untruthful” answer possible to congressional questions about the secret bulk collection of Americans’ phone call data. It further cites other Clapper claims later proved false, such as his 2012 statement that “we don’t hold data on U.S. citizens.” But the Award also recognizes Clapper’s fellow secrecy fetishists and enablers, including:

Gen. Keith Alexander, director of the NSA, for multiple Rose Mary Woods-type stretches, such as (1) claiming that the secret bulk collection prevented 54 terrorist plots against the U.S. when the actual number, according to the congressionally-established Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) investigation (pp. 145-153), is zero; (2) his 2009 declaration to the wiretap court that multiple NSA violations of the court’s orders arose from differences over “terminology,” an explanation which the chief judge said “strains credulity;” and (3) public statements by the NSA about its programs that had to be taken down from its website for inaccuracies (see Documents 78, 85, 87 in The Snowden Affair), along with public statements by other top NSA officials now known to be untrue (see “Remarks of Rajesh De,” NSA General Counsel, Document 53 in The Snowden Affair).

Robert Mueller, former FBI director, for suggesting (as have Gen. Alexander and many others) that the secret bulk collection program might have been able to prevent the 9/11 attacks, when the 9/11 Commission found explicitly the problem was not lack of data points, but failing to connect the many dots the intelligence community already had about the would-be hijackers living in San Diego.

The National Security Division lawyers at the Justice Department, for misleading their own Solicitor General (Donald Verrilli) who then misled (inadvertently) the U.S. Supreme Court over whether Justice let defendants know that bulk collection had contributed to their prosecutions.

The same National Security Division lawyers who swore under oath in the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Freedom of Information Act lawsuit for a key wiretap court opinion that the entire text of the opinion was appropriately classified Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information (release of which would cause “exceptionally grave damage” to U.S. national security). Only after the Edward Snowden leaks and the embarrassed governmental declassification of the opinion did we find that one key part of the opinion’s text simply reproduced the actual language of the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and the only “grave damage” was to the government’s false claims.

President Obama for his repeated misrepresentations about the bulk collection program (calling the wiretap court “transparent” and saying “all of Congress” knew “exactly how this program works”) while in effect acknowledging the public value of the Edward Snowden leaks by ordering the long-overdue declassification of key documents about the NSA’s activities, and investigations both by a special panel and by the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board…

Excerpted; full article link: http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/news/20140324/

These materials are reproduced from http://www.nsarchive.org with the permission of the National Security Archive.