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ACTION ALERT: 700 Airline Pilots Join Wall Street Occupation. Call to Occupy DC on October 6

September 30th, 2011 - by admin

Forbes Magazine & War Is a Crime – 2011-09-30 00:41:19

http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2011/09/29/union-airline-pilots-occupy-wall-street/

Union Airline Pilots
Occupy Wall Street

Erik Kain / Forbes Magazine

(September 29, 2011) — Over 700 hundred Continental and United pilots, joined by additional pilots from other Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) carriers, demonstrate in front of Wall Street on September 27, 2011 in New York City.

Hundreds of uniformed pilots, standing in stark contrast to the youthful Occupy Wall Street protesters, staged their own protest outside of Wall Street over the past couple of days, holding signs with the picture of the Hudson river crash asking “What’s a Pilot Worth” and others declaring “Management is Destroying Our Airline.”

This comes after pilots at United asked a federal judge to halt the merger with Continental, arguing that the whole thing is proceeding too quickly.

Piloting an airplane may seem like a good line of work, a high-skilled job that places many lives in the hands of a highly skilled worker. The highly-skilled portion of this assumption is true. However, pilots are among the most dismally paid workers in the country — at least when they start flying.

According to FltOps.com first year pilots make as little as $21,600 a year. Some airlines, such as Southwest, pay more than twice that. On average, starting pay for the major airlines is just above $36,000 a year.

Fortunately for pilots, the payscale does climb and it climbs pretty high. Fifth year median pay is close to double what first year pilots earn. Top pay can be much better. The high-end of the salary scale tops out with UPS and FedEx pilots who can earn over $200,000, though most major airlines average closer to $150,000.

Notably, non-unionized JetBlue is one of the lowest paying airlines. Southwest, which is almost entirely unionized, pays its pilots almost as well as UPS and FedEx. Something to think about.

See also:
Why I Support the Teachers Unions


Occupy Washington, DC
David Swanson / War Is a Crime.org

We are occupying Wall Street.
We will not be moved.

(September 29, 2011) — Without anyone having to set themselves on fire, a group of nonviolent fed-up people, young and old, has sparked something new. In less than two weeks they have gone through all of the stages of public protest: being ignored, mocked, attacked, and beginning to win.

People are joining together across race, age, gender, and culture. Labor unions are joining in a movement that was not begun by labor unions. Insider groups that would rather not be seen at protests are promoting this one. Cable television is denouncing police brutality. A conversation has been launched about the damage the wealthiest one percent is doing to the rest of us. And integral to the demand being made for social justice is the demand to cut military spending and end immoral wars.

Now is the moment to nonviolently resist on Wall Street (http://occupywallst.org) and around the country (http://occupytogether.org), and begi nning October 6th in Washington, D.C. (http://october2011.org).

Wall Street’s servants on K Street, in the Pentagon, and in our government think Wall Street is comfortably far away.

Pledge now to bring the occupation to Washington on October 6th:
http://october2011.org

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http://afterdowningstreet.org
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Obama: A Disaster for Civil Liberties

September 30th, 2011 - by admin

Jonathan Turley / Los Angeles Times Op Ed – 2011-09-30 00:40:38

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-turley-civil-liberties-20110929,0,7542436.story

Obama: A Disaster for Civil Liberties
He may prove the most disastrous president in our history in terms of civil liberties

LOS ANGELES (September 29, 2011) — With the 2012 presidential election before us, the country is again caught up in debating national security issues, our ongoing wars and the threat of terrorism. There is one related subject, however, that is rarely mentioned: civil liberties.

Protecting individual rights and liberties — apart from the right to be tax-free — seems barely relevant to candidates or voters. One man is primarily responsible for the disappearance of civil liberties from the national debate, and he is Barack Obama. While many are reluctant to admit it, Obama has proved a disaster not just for specific civil liberties but the civil liberties cause in the United States.

Civil libertarians have long had a dysfunctional relationship with the Democratic Party, which treats them as a captive voting bloc with nowhere else to turn in elections. Not even this history, however, prepared civil libertarians for Obama. After the George W. Bush years, they were ready to fight to regain ground lost after Sept. 11.

Historically, this country has tended to correct periods of heightened police powers with a pendulum swing back toward greater individual rights. Many were questioning the extreme measures taken by the Bush administration, especially after the disclosure of abuses and illegalities. Candidate Obama capitalized on this swing and portrayed himself as the champion of civil liberties.

However, President Obama not only retained the controversial Bush policies, he expanded on them. The earliest, and most startling, move came quickly. Soon after his election, various military and political figures reported that Obama reportedly promised Bush officials in private that no one would be investigated or prosecuted for torture.

In his first year, Obama made good on that promise, announcing that no CIA employee would be prosecuted for torture. Later, his administration refused to prosecute any of the Bush officials responsible for ordering or justifying the program and embraced the “just following orders” defense for other officials, the very defense rejected by the United States at the Nuremberg trials after World War II.

Obama failed to close Guantanamo Bay as promised. He continued warrantless surveillance and military tribunals that denied defendants basic rights. He asserted the right to kill U.S. citizens he views as terrorists. His administration has fought to block dozens of public-interest lawsuits challenging privacy violations and presidential abuses.

But perhaps the biggest blow to civil liberties is what he has done to the movement itself. It has quieted to a whisper, muted by the power of Obama’s personality and his symbolic importance as the first black president as well as the liberal who replaced Bush.

Indeed, only a few days after he took office, the Nobel committee awarded him the Nobel Peace Prize without his having a single accomplishment to his credit beyond being elected. Many Democrats were, and remain, enraptured.

It’s almost a classic case of the Stockholm syndrome, in which a hostage bonds with his captor despite the obvious threat to his existence. Even though many Democrats admit in private that they are shocked by Obama’s position on civil liberties, they are incapable of opposing him.

Some insist that they are simply motivated by realism: A Republican would be worse. However, realism alone cannot explain the utter absence of a push for an alternative Democratic candidate or organized opposition to Obama’s policies on civil liberties in Congress during his term. It looks more like a cult of personality. Obama’s policies have become secondary to his persona.

Ironically, had Obama been defeated in 2008, it is likely that an alliance for civil liberties might have coalesced and effectively fought the government’s burgeoning police powers. A Gallup poll released this week shows 49% of Americans, a record since the poll began asking this question in 2003, believe that “the federal government poses an immediate threat to individuals’ rights and freedoms.”

Yet the Obama administration long ago made a cynical calculation that it already had such voters in the bag and tacked to the right on this issue to show Obama was not “soft” on terror. He assumed that, yet again, civil libertarians might grumble and gripe but, come election day, they would not dare stay home.

This calculation may be wrong. Obama may have flown by the fail-safe line, especially when it comes to waterboarding. For many civil libertarians, it will be virtually impossible to vote for someone who has flagrantly ignored the Convention Against Torture or its underlying Nuremberg Principles.

As Obama and Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. have admitted, waterboarding is clearly torture and has been long defined as such by both international and U.S. courts. It is not only a crime but a war crime.

By blocking the investigation and prosecution of those responsible for torture, Obama violated international law and reinforced other countries in refusing investigation of their own alleged war crimes. The administration magnified the damage by blocking efforts of other countries like Spain from investigating our alleged war crimes.

In this process, his administration shredded principles on the accountability of government officials and lawyers facilitating war crimes and further destroyed the credibility of the U.S. in objecting to civil liberties abuses abroad.

In time, the election of Barack Obama may stand as one of the single most devastating events in our history for civil liberties. Now the president has begun campaigning for a second term. He will again be selling himself more than his policies, but he is likely to find many civil libertarians who simply are not buying.

Jonathan Turley is a professor of law at George Washington University.
Copyright (c) 2011, Los Angeles Times

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.

NRA Lobbies to ‘Allow’ Guns on US College Campuses

September 30th, 2011 - by admin

Deseret News & Associated Press & Rick Jervis / USA Today – 2011-09-30 00:36:41

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700182386/NRA-aims-to-lobby-for-guns-on-campus-again.html

NRA Aims to Lobby for Guns on Campus Again
Deseret News & Associated Press

POCATELLO, Idaho (September 25, 2011) — A National Rifle Association lobbyist says the guns-right lobby will attempt to persuade Idaho lawmakers next year to allow people to carry concealed weapons on college campuses without a permit.

The Idaho State Journal reports that Matt Dogali of the NRA at a meeting at Idaho State University last week said people should be allowed to carry a concealed weapon without a permit and to bring that weapon onto campuses.

Earlier this year lawmakers decided to leave it to university leaders to decide how to regulate firearms.

The House passed a measure that would have prohibited schools from banning firearms anywhere on campus except in undergraduate residence halls, but state senators killed the bill, arguing “there are times and places where guns are not appropriate on campus.”


State Lawmakers Push to Allow Guns on College Campuses
Rick Jervis / USA Today

(September 29, 2011) — State lawmakers across the USA are pushing a growing number of bills this year that would legalize carrying guns on college campuses, according to groups tracking the trend.

This year, at least 14 states have introduced 35 bills that would allow students and faculty to carry concealed weapons on state colleges and universities or loosen restrictions on gun bans on campuses, according to the National Conference of State Legislators. Meanwhile, two states, Maryland and Washington, have introduced bills to prohibit guns on campuses. None of the bills have passed so far.

Last year, nine states introduced bills that would legalize gun carrying on campus while another nine states proposed barring the practice, according to the group. In Texas alone, six bills introduced this year would make it legal to bear arms on campus, says Brenda Bautsch, an education-policy analyst with the National Conference of State Legislators.

“We’re seeing more bills,” she says. “And there are far more bills to allow guns than to prohibit them.”

The emboldened effort to legalize guns on campuses comes on the heels of a ruling by the Oregon Court of Appeals on Wednesday that repealed a university gun ban. In that case, a student was suspended from Western Oregon University for possessing a handgun. The court overturned the university’s ban on guns, saying the state university system did not have the authority to prevent students or faculty from carrying weapons on any of its seven universities if they were licensed to do so.

The Colorado Supreme Court is deciding on another case that would allow guns on university campuses. Utah so far is the only state with a law allowing concealed weapons on state campuses, Bautsch says.

The issue of whether to allow guns on campuses has been hotly debated since the 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech, where a student opened fire on campus, killing 32 people and wounding 25. Opponents say allowing guns on campuses would not make them any safer for students and the mix of guns with alcohol and drugs found on some campuses could lead to increased incidents involving guns.

People legally licensed to carry a gun shouldn’t give up their Second Amendment right to bear arms just because they attend a university, says Kevin Starrett, executive director of the Oregon Firearms Educational Foundation, which represented the student in the Oregon court case.

“People who are licensed to carry guns in Oregon meet a certain criteria,” Starrett says. “They do not suddenly lose their minds when they step on a college campus.”

Two recent US Supreme Court rulings favorable to individual gun owners have emboldened states to introduce legislation that would allow guns on campuses, says Andy Pelosi, head of Gunfreekids.org, an advocacy group that opposes guns on campuses. The group has fought some form of guns-on-campus legislation in 23 states this year, he says. Since 2007, 65 similar bills have been defeated in 32 states.

“It’s definitely been a very active year, to say the least,” Pelosi says.

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.

No Afghan Troops Fight without US Soldiers; US to Send 800 More ‘Trainers’

September 30th, 2011 - by admin

Spencer Ackerman / Danger Room, Wired Magazine & Walter Pincus / The Washington Post< - 2011-09-30 00:29:14 http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/09/not-a-single-afghan-battalion-fights-without-u-s-help/ Not A Single Afghan Battalion Fights Without US Help
Spencer Ackerman / Danger Room, Wired Magazine

(September 26, 2011) — Ten years of war. Two years of an accelerated effort to train Afghans to take over that fight, at an annual cost of $6 billion. And not a single Afghan army battalion can operate without assistance from US or allied units.

That was the assessment made by the officer responsible for training those Afghan soldiers, Lt. Gen. William Caldwell. Out of approximately 180 Afghan National Army battalions, only two operate “independently.” Except that “independently,” in Caldwell’s National Training Mission-Afghanistan command, means something different than “independently” does in the States.

Those two “independent” battalions still require US support for their maintenance, logistics and medical systems,” Caldwell admitted when Pentagon reporters pressed him on Monday morning.

“Today, we haven’t developed their systems to enable them to do that yet,” Caldwell said.

Building up foreign armies isn’t easy. During 2008’s battle for Basra, Iraqi forces relied heavily on US and British support — and still saw more than a thousand desertions. That was four years after then Maj. Gen. David Petraeus took over the training of the Iraqi military.

For the past two years, Caldwell’s overseen a big push to expand, professionalize and train Afghan soldiers and cops. Caldwell has gotten bodies into uniforms: the Afghan army and police total 305,516 today, up from 196,508 last December, and they’re “on track,” Caldwell says, to reach 352,000 by November 2012.

Caldwell praised Afghan police officers during the Taliban’s audacious attack on Kabul earlier this month. Two separate cops “literally did a bear hug” on separate suicide bombers in different places around the city, sacrificing themselves in the process. “Policemen were doing heroic deeds,” Caldwell said.

But most of Afghanistan’s men in uniform can’t read at a kindergarten level, much less understand the instrument panels on a helicopter or the serial numbers on their rifles.

That’s one reason why it’ll be years before the US takes its training wheels off the Afghan soldiers’ bikes. Although the Obama administration plans to turn the war over to forces Caldwell trains by 2014, Caldwell told Danger Room in June that the Afghans will need US training until as late as 2017.

That is, if attrition doesn’t get in the way. Caldwell expressed alarm that 1.4 percent of Afghan cops and 2.3 percent of Afghan soldiers walk off the job every month, saying that if “left unchecked [attrition] could undo much of the progress made to date.” Yet last week, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta testified that attrition rates are “as much as three percent per month.

Asked by Danger Room about the increase, Caldwell simply said that the “goal we’ve set” is a 1.4 monthly attrition level across both forces. In the Afghan National Army, attrition “has been steady over the last year. We have not seen the decline,” Caldwell said.

Then there’s the nagging issue of human rights. “US officials have for years been aware of credible allegations that newly-installed Kandahar police chief [Brigadier General Abdul] Raziq and his men participated in a cold-blooded massacre of civilians,” writes Matthieu Aikins, in a gut-wrenching new expose for The Atlantic. Yet Raziq has been showered with cash and official praises from the highest level of the American-led coalition in Afghanistan.

Caldwell has instituted an additional 18 hours of training on respecting Afghans’ rights into the eight-week course that the typical would-be Afghan cop takes. But Caldwell doesn’t train every Afghan cop. Members of a program called the Afghan Local Police — founded in 2010 by Petraeus to recruit auxiliaries against the Taliban — has been implicated in “killings, rape, arbitrary detention, abductions, forcible land grabs, and illegal raids by irregular armed groups,” according to a Human Rights Watch report issued this month.

Special Operations Forces are responsible for turning these groups into respectable units. When Danger Room asked if it was time for Caldwell to take over that training, Caldwell said, “We’ve not been asked to at this point… If there is a request for us to help and become engaged in that, we obviously would. But at this point, I think the special forces element that has the responsibility for that clearly sees and understands what that report says. We all take that very seriously.”

With insurgents assassinating the man in charge of negotiating a peace deal, the Afghan security forces are the backbone of the US’ long-term plan for Afghan security. During his Senate testimony on Thursday, Panetta called their development “one of the most notable successes” of the war.

Yet not only can no Afghan army battalion operate without US aid, the US has been purchasing them a lot of creature comforts. Caldwell said that his command recently stopped buying air conditioning units for Afghan barracks, replacing them with fans instead — part of an effort to pare down the $6 billion that it costs to keep the Afghan security forces going. Caldwell said he expects that number to drop — in part because someday Afghanistan won’t be ravaged by insurgency (maybe, hopefully) — but he doesn’t know how much it’ll drop by, or by when.

“I’m still very realistic about the challenges out there,” Caldwell said.

Update: I misheard Caldwell during today’s Pentagon briefing when he discussed the goal he’s set for monthly attrition rates. Thanks to his public-affairs officer, Lt. Col. Shawn Stroud, for alerting me to my mistake.

See Also:
• If Afghan Troops Can’t Read Cat in the Hat, This War Is Screwed

• Six More Years: US General Wants to Train Afghans Until ‘2017′

• What Surge? NATO Says it Needs More Trainers for Afghan Cops

• Afghans Purge Hundreds of Top Cops as NATO Cheers

Spencer Ackerman is Danger Room’s senior reporter, based out of Washington, D.C., covering weapons of doom and the strategies they’re used to implement.
Follow @attackerman and @dangerroom on Twitter.


800 Additional US Military Trainers to be Sent to Afghanistan by March
Walter Pincus / The Washington Post

WASHINGTON (September 26, 2011) — Eight hundred more US military trainers will be sent to Afghanistan by March to help with logistics, maintenance, medical care and other areas in which the Afghan army is short on skills, Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell, commander of NATO’s training mission there, said Monday.

“That will better help us start getting at some of these specialty skills,” he told reporters in a teleconference from Kabul.

Caldwell said training in these areas was needed to enable Afghan army units to be better prepared to operate without US support by 2014, when American combat troops are scheduled to leave.

Caldwell said that only two of 126 Afghan army battalions are currently operating “by themselves.” But he later said that even those two needed logistics, maintenance, medical and intelligence support. Other battalions operated “very effectively with minimal coalition support,” he said.

He said that training programs once were led by contractors but that Afghans increasingly are taking control. About 3,100 Afghans are assigned to training instruction, and half of those “have been certified through a very deliberate process,” he said.

Caldwell said Afghan police played a key role in protecting civilians during the attack on the US Embassy on Sept. 13.

In another attack that day that was not as well-publicized, a group of students at a high school were saved when an Afghan police officer “did a bear hug around a suicide bomber when he blew himself up and there in the process obviously killed himself,” Caldwell said.

He told of another senior police officer who also ran up to a bomber who got close to Afghan National Civil Order Police headquarters, again giving the assailant a hug as the bomb went off, killing himself but saving the lives of nearby officers.

Caldwell also said that attrition rates within the Afghan military, though higher than desirable, have not kept Afghanistan’s security forces from growing. They are on track to reach 352,000 personnel by 2012.

Literacy remains a problem. But the recruitment of about 3,000 Afghan literacy teachers has eased it somewhat. Caldwell said that about half of all Afghan army and police personnel have gone through the literacy program. Only 18 percent of those currently serving were literate when they joined, he said.

The Afghan security forces program overall costs about $6 billion a year for a country whose government income is estimated at just over $1 billion. Caldwell refused to predict how long it will take for the spending to decrease. He said he is looking for “sources from the international community to help pay for it in the long term,” as well as contributions from the US and Afghan governments.

Caldwell said some savings are already being realized through the purchase of local products. Boots once bought for the Afghan army at $170 a pair from the United States are now bought for less from Afghan factories. A similar approach is being taken when buying uniforms, sheets and pillowcases. The overall savings amount to $168 million a year.

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.

FBI Uses Taxpayer Dollars to Recruit another ‘Terrorist’

September 29th, 2011 - by admin

Anti-War.com & Kevin Johnson / USA Today – 2011-09-29 00:50:50

Model Plane Enthusiast Netted in Manufactured ‘Terror’ Plot

Model Plane Enthusiast Netted in Manufactured ‘Terror’ Plot
Jason Ditz / Anti-War.com

(September 28, 2011) — The latest in a long line of extremely high-profile arrests that appear to be based on extremely little really concrete evidence, prosecutors have announced Boston physicist Rizwan Ferdaus is being charged with “material support for terrorism” and “attempting to destroy federal buildings using explosives” over what they assure is an enormous plot.

Putting aside his scarily foreign-sounding name, Rizwan is a 26-year-old physicist from Ashland, MA who officials say “was radicalized watching videos from the Internet” and then bought a model airplane under an assumed name.

A few hand-waving exercises and model airplane becomes “drone” and selling some cell phones to undercover FBI agents becomes “selling electric switches for improvised explosive devices intended to kill US soldiers.”

A model airplane and “no information to indicate he was connected to a foreign terrorist organization” might not be much, but it translates into officials being positive that he was going to launch drone attacks against the Pentagon and the Capitol building.

The move will be added to the administration’s long list of illusory threats foiled, right after the December 2010 arrest of a guy in Baltimore who “watched Osama bin Laden videos” on his computer and posted anti-US statements on Facebook, and then went on to pretend bomb a military recruitment center with fake explosives the FBI gave him.


Man Accused of Plotting Drone Attacks on Pentagon, Capitol
Kevin Johnson / USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — A 26-year-old Massachusetts man was arrested Wednesday and charged in a plot to fly explosive-packed, remote control aircraft into the Pentagon and US Capitol. Federal prosecutors allege in court documents that Rezwan Ferdaus outlined an elaborate plan to undercover FBI agents posing as al-Qaeda operatives that involved the use of three drone aircraft carrying deadly payloads to attack and destroy the iconic federal government landmarks.

Prosecutors allege that as recently as May, Ferdaus traveled to Washington to photograph his intended targets and “identified sites at the East Potomac Park from which to launch his airplanes filled with explosives.”

Ferdaus, a US citizen who holds a physics degree from Boston’s Northeastern University, was arrested Wednesday after allegedly accepting delivery of materials, including three grenades, six Ak-47 assault rifles and a quantity of what he believed to be powerful C-4 explosives.

The suspect, according to court documents, had rented a storage unit in Framingham, Mass., where he allegedly intended to “build his attack planes and maintain all his equipment.” The suspect already had obtained one of the drone planes, an F-86 Sabre replica, from a Florida distributor under a false name, investigators alleged.

US Attorney Carmen Ortiz said all of the weaponry was in the control of undercover agents who were closely monitoring the plot’s developments. She said the public was never in danger.

The suspect made his initial court appearance Wednesday afternoon in Worcester, Mass., where a federal judge scheduled a Monday detention hearing. Attorney Catherine Byrne was appointed to represent Ferdaus. She did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Ferdaus is charged with providing material support to a terrorist organization, attempting to destroy national defense property and attempting to destroy federal buildings using explosives. The most serious charges, the counts involving destruction of federal property, carry maximum penalties of 20 years in prison.

According to court documents, Ferdaus allegedly began to commit jihad, or holy war, against the US in early 2010 when he provided undercover FBI agents with mobile phones modified to serve as electrical switches for improvised explosive devices. “Ferdaus believed that the devices would be used to kill American soldiers overseas,” prosecutors alleged.

During a June meeting with undercover agents, Ferdaus “appeared gratified” when falsely told that his first phone device had killed three US soldiers and wounded others in Iraq. “That was exactly what I wanted,” Ferdaus allegedly told the agents posing as terror operatives.

In recorded conversations, Ferdaus told agents in January about plans to attack the Pentagon using drone aircraft. He later “expanded” the plot in April to include the US Capitol. And in the following months, according to court documents, he provided agents with “detailed attack plans.”

“During various recorded meetings, Ferdaus envisioned causing a large psychological impact by killing Americans, including women and children who he referred to as enemies of Allah,” federal investigators alleged in the documents.

After returning from the May surveillance trip to Washington, Ferdaus allegedly told the undercover agents that the plan needed to be expanded even further, to include a “ground” component. That plan, according to court documents, included six heavily armed gunmen, to be divided into two teams. According to the plan, they would be directed to create “chaos'” and “take out” everyone.

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.

As the Drone Flies…

September 29th, 2011 - by admin

Ralph Nader / CommonDreams – 2011-09-29 00:35:25

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/09/26-15

(September 26, 2011) — The fast developing predator drone technology, officially called unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs, is becoming so dominant and so beyond any restraining framework of law or ethics, that its use by the US government around the world may invite a horrific blowback.

First some background. The Pentagon has about 7,000 aerial drones. Ten years ago there were less than 50. According to the website longwarjournal.com, they have destroyed about 1900 insurgents in Pakistan’s tribal regions. How these fighters are so clearly distinguished from civilians in those mountain areas is not clear.

Nor is it clear how or from whom the government gets such “precise” information about the guerilla leaders’ whereabouts night and day. The drones are beyond any counterattack — flying often at 50,000 feet. But the Air Force has recognized that a third of the Predators have crashed by themselves.

Compared to mass transit, housing, energy technology, infection control, food and drug safety, the innovation in the world of drones is incredible. Coming soon are hummingbird sized drones, submersible drones and software driven autonomous UAVs. The Washington Post described these inventions as “aircraft [that] would hunt, identify and fire at [the] enemy — all on its own.” It is called “lethal autonomy” in the trade.

Military ethicists and legal experts inside and outside the government are debating how far UAVs can go and still stay within what one imaginative booster, Ronald C. Arkin, called international humanitarian law and the rules of engagement. Concerns over restraint can already be considered academic. Drones are going anywhere their governors want them to go already — Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, and countries in North Africa to name a few known jurisdictions.

Last year a worried group of robotic specialists, philosophers and human rights activists formed the International Committee for Robot Arms Control (ICRAC) (http://www.icrac.co.uk/). They fear that such instruments may make wars more likely by the strong against the weak because there will be fewer human casualties by those waging robotic war. But proliferation is now a fact.

Forty countries are reported to be working on drone technology or acquiring it. Some experts at the founding conference of ICRAC forshadowed hostile states or terrorist organizations hacking into robotic systems to redirect them.

ICRAC wants an international treaty against machines of lethal autonomy along the lines of the ones banning land mines and cluster bombs. The trouble is that the United States, unlike over one hundred signatory nations, does not belong to either the land mines treaty or the more recent anti-cluster bomb treaty. Historically, the US has been a major manufacturer and deployer of both. Don’t count on the Obama White House to take the lead anytime soon.

Columnist David Ignatius wrote that “A world where drones are constantly buzzing overhead — waiting to zap those deemed threats under a cloaked and controversial process — risks being, even more, a world of lawlessness and chaos.”

Consider how terrifying it must be to the populations, especially the children, living under the threat of drones that can attack through clouds and dark skies. UAVs are hardly visible but sometimes audible through their frightful whining sound. Polls show Pakistanis overwhelmingly believe most of the drone-driven fatalities are civilians.

US Air Force Colonel Matt Martin has written a book titled Predator. He was a remote operator sitting in the control room in Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada watching “suspects” transversing a mountain ridge in Afghanistan eight thousand miles away. In a review of Martin’s book, Christian Cary writes “The eerie acuity of vision afforded by the Predator’s multiple high-powered video cameras enables him to watch as the objects of his interest light up cigarettes, go to the bathroom, or engage in amorous adventures with animals on the other side of the world, never suspecting that they are under observation as they do.”

For most of a decade the asymmetrical warfare between the most modern, military force in world history and Iraqi and Afghani fighters has left the latter with little conventional aerial or land-based weaponry other than rifles, rocket propelled grenades, roadside IEDs and suicide belted youths.

People who see invaders occupying their land with military domination that is beyond reach will resort to ever more desperate counterattacks, however primitive in nature. When the time comes that robotic weapons of physics cannot be counteracted at all with these simple handmade weapons because the occupier’s arsenals are remote, deadly and without the need for soldiers, what will be the blowback?

Already, people like retired Admiral Dennis Blair, former director of National Intelligence under President Obama is saying, according to POLITICO, that the Administration should curtail US-led drone strikes on suspected terrorists in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia because the missiles fired from unmanned aircraft are fueling anti-American sentiment and undercutting reform efforts in those countries.

While scores of physicists and engineers are working on refining further advances in UAVs, thousands of others are staying silent. In prior years, their counterparts spoke out against the nuclear arms race or exposed the unworkability of long-range missile defense. They need to re-engage. Because the next blowback may soon move into chemical and biological resistance against invaders. Suicide belts may contain pathogens — bacterial and viral — and chemical agents deposited in food and water supplies.

Professions are supposed to operate within an ethical code and exercise independent judgment. Doctors have a duty to prevent harm. Biologists and chemists should urge their colleagues in physics to take a greater role as to where their know-how is leading this tormented world of ours before the blowback spills over into even more lethally indefensible chemical and biological attacks.

Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer, and author. His most recent book — and first novel — is, Only The Super-Rich Can Save Us. His most recent work of non-fiction is The Seventeen Traditions.

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.

ACTION ALERT: No US Escalation in Pakistan

September 29th, 2011 - by admin

Tom Hayden / Peace and Justice Resource Center – 2011-09-29 00:27:48

http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/no-u-s-escalation-in-pakistan.html

(September 27, 2011) — Background (Preamble):

The September 22 testimony of Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, may well “pave the way… to new unilateral military actions inside Pakistan,” including more drone strikes and, “even cross border raids into Pakistan to root out insurgents from their havens.” (New York Times, September 22-23, 2011)

After Mullen’s testimony, the Heritage Foundation immediately called for aggressive military and diplomatic escalation. (Christian Science Monitor, September 26, 2011) House Republicans are pushing an open-ended authorization for war against any insurgents anywhere in the world “associated” with the Taliban or Al Qaeda.

Enough is enough. Escalation in Pakistan is not in the national security interest of the United States. Already our drone attacks have provoked two terrorist near misses against American civilians, one at the Detroit airport on Christmas Day 2009 and another at Times Square on May 1, 2010. It is not in the economic interest of the United States; we cannot afford another trillion-dollar war. It is not in the moral interest of the United States; the drone attacks kill innocent people and inflame millions of Pakistanis against America.

The military pursuit of terrorist sanctuaries, first in Iraq and then in Afghanistan, has left behind thousands dead and wounded and only pushed the sanctuaries to new locations. Each escalation begets another. Besides Pakistan, our government is pursuing undeclared air wars against terrorist cells with drone attacks in Somalia and Yemen. (Washington Post, September 20, 2011)

It makes no sense to escalate attacks against the Pakistan sanctuaries of the Afghan Taliban while the US ends its combat role, gradually withdraws from Afghanistan, and supports a power-sharing arrangement with all parties. It is irrational to bomb the Taliban’s sanctuaries while inviting them to the peace table. A genuine diplomatic settlement requires a phased ending of the drone attacks as US troops phase out their role in Afghanistan.

Sending in ground troops backed by air power is as foolish as President Nixon’s 1970 invasion of Cambodia allegedly to wipe out Vietcong sanctuaries.

Sign the petition

The Petition:
We, the undersigned, urge President Obama to keep his June 20, 2009 promise that “we have no intention of sending United States troops into Pakistan.”

We oppose the looming threat of US cross-border raids into Pakistan, as well as the continued escalation of drone strikes. Peace cannot be won by lopsided Western military intervention, but only by negotiated compromise and regional diplomacy. As Pakistani journalist Zahid Hussain concludes, “a political settlement is the only endgame.”

As the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan gradually wind down, now is the time to de-escalate the US war in Pakistan and adopt a diplomatic exit strategy.

Instead, the US is on the verge of sending ground troops into Pakistan as well as escalating its aerial drone attacks.

We call for bipartisan Congressional hearings to recommend a Pakistan peace strategy to the administration.

Will Washington Target Pakistan Next?

September 29th, 2011 - by admin

The Peace and Justice Resource Center & The Long War Journal – 2011-09-29 00:20:17

http://tomhayden.com/home/an-expanding-war-in-pakistan.html

An Expanding War in Pakistan
Tom Hayden / The Peace and Justice Resource Center

(September 27, 2011) — Slowly but surely, the United States is creeping deeper and deeper into a disastrous war in Pakistan. The peace movement and its political and media allies need to be ready. There is a growing community of activists and journalists already protesting and documenting the aerial drone wars over Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, and Libya.[1] But the debate about drones cannot be isolated from the context of their use in the Long War as a substitute for American ground troops and in response to peace pressure from the American public.

Important as these perspectives may be, the peace movement may lose the debate if drones are seen in purely moral or economic terms or as a loss of democratic transparency. The fact is, however, that the use of drones will endanger American lives and security as they inevitably provoke violent counter-attacks, such as those of December 25, 2009 (Detroit Metro Airport), February 2010 (guilty pleas in New York subway bombing plot), and May 1, 2010 (Times Square). The US already has a secret contingency plan to strike at 150 sites, nearly all in Pakistan, if another incident occurs that is traceable to any Pakistani source.[2]

The drones do not make America safer. They inevitably provoke blowback. They are not a way of waging war cheaply. They require massive investments in client states and “nation-building” on the ground. They kill people, but no victories are won from the air.

Obama has been warned about the drone strategy many times, even by his Afghanistan adviser Bruce Riedel, who privately told him in 2009:

“Predator drone strikes only work because CIA paramilitary teams have an ultra-secret presence on the ground in Pakistan. Without the local informants these teams develop, there would not be good signals intelligence so that the drones know where to target. This was a risky enterprise that might collapse overnight. So don’t rely on drones… They look like a cheap way out, but they’re not.”[3]

Pakistan is on fire, writes Imtiaz Gul.[4] Between 2002-2009, suicide strikes in Pakistan rose from one to 90 per year, along with 500 bombings and ambushes in that single year.

Critics of the drone strategy include David Kilcullen, the top counterinsurgency adviser to General David Petraeus in Iraq, the Long War Journal, and the New America Foundation. These are not peaceniks, but skeptics of counterterrorism from the air. According to the Long War Journal:

• 256 of 266 drone strikes against Taliban and al Qaeda targets, which began in 2004, have been since January 2008, showing the increased reliance on the secret air war;

• Since 2006, there have been 2,090 “leaders”, “operatives” from the Taliban, AQ and “allied extremist groups” killed, and 138 “civilians.” The CIA insists that no civilians have been killed by drones since 2008, a claim that no independent observers, including the mainstream media, believe. (New York Times)http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/12/world/asia/12drones.html?pagewanted=all;

• The vast majority of the drone strikes have been in North and South Waziristan, with 89 percent inflicted on North Waziristan in 2010, the period when peace talks with the Taliban were embraced by most of the international community;

• In 2010, there was a massive shift in strikes against tribal areas administered by Taliban leader Hafiz Gul Bahadar. Nearly all the attacks since 2008 have been against areas represented by four Taliban leaders/factions: in addition to Bahadar, the Haqqanis, the Mehsuds, and Mullah Nazir. Bahadar and the Haqqanis are based in North Waziristan.

• The number of Taliban/al Qaeda leaders killed in these areas in 2004-2011 has been insignificant militarily: ten in the Haqqani network, seven in the Bahadar network, seven in the Mehsud network, one in the Hekmatyar network, etc.

The Long War Journal account concludes:

“The Pakistani government considers Nazir, the Haqqanis, Bahadar, and Hekmatyar to be ‘good Taliban’ as they do not carry out attacks against the Pakistani state. All of these Taliban factions shelter al Qaeda and various other terror groups.”

The inescapable conclusion is that Bahadar, Nazir, the Haqqanis and Hekmatyar–warlords all–are fighting against US forces in their traditional regions of influence in Afghanistan, and would lessen or cease fighting if the United States followed a timetable for withdrawal from those areas.

Does that mean the Taliban or its multiple factions and warlord allies will take over Kabul if the US withdraws? Not necessarily, unless the fragile, corrupt and dysfunctional Karzai regime simply implodes. But according to an insightful analysis in the Asian Times by Brian Downing, it is more likely that Afghanistan will be “carved up” by regional powers with vested interests.

In his scenario, “the regional powers, especially Pakistan, will use their influence with the Taliban to convince them to limit their ambitions to the south and east and accept a settlement with President Hamid Karzai at the helm in Kabul.” This is the opposite of the current US military agenda. (April 27, 2011)

Second, Iran and Turkey are likely to weigh in to “press reluctant Afghan [allies] to accept the settlement.”

Third, the regional powers — Pakistan, China, Iran and Turkey — “will help to form a rentier state to govern the country,” as has happened often in Afghanistan’s history. A rentier state generally is defined as one supported by external funding and inputs far more than internally-generated revenues. Afghanistan currently has little economy beyond its illegal heroin production–resulting in 90,000 European overdose deaths per year–and the military investments of the US and NATO.

Fourth, the same regional powers will cooperate and sometimes compete in developing Afghanistan resources, which include mineral resources and pipelines from Central Asia to the Arabian Sea.

Geopolitically, Pakistan and China share a common interest in limiting the presence of India in Afghanistan. A majority-Hindu India is America’s chief ally in Afghanistan, having backed the Northern Alliance interests during the past decade. Pakistan is in a state of “cold peace” with India, while China already operates a copper mine, and is building railroads along with a naval base on the Arabian Sea.

Iran, which has a long and porous border with Afghanistan, has close ties with the Northern Alliance forces (Tajiks, Uzbeks, Hazaras, etc.) and “loathes the Taliban, which massacred thousands of Shiites, killed several Iranian diplomats in Mazar-I-Sharif in 1998, and contributes mightily to [Iran’s] drug problem.” Iran, which originally helped the US oust the Taliban, now would agree to “a settlement that restrained the Taliban, opened economic opportunities, and expelled the US.” Like China, Iran’s Persian past casts a cultural legacy across Central Asia.

Where does all this leave the United States and NATO? Quite simply, in the dilemma of both spreading and fighting a contagion of Islamic resistance at the same time. Facing military stalemates–at best–in Iraq and Afghanistan, while teetering towards escalation in Pakistan and beyond. A budget crisis which includes no spending for another war. And a White House worried about who will be blamed for the likely quagmires.

De-escalation, an exit strategy, is the only way out of the rabbit hole.

Notes:
[1] The first American drone strike against Libya was April 23, as reported by Reuters and ABC News.
[2] Woodward, Bob. Obama’s Wars, p. 46.
[3] Woodward, Bob. Obama’s Wars, pp. 206-207.
[4] Gul, Imtiaz. The Most Dangerous Place, 2009.

This article originally appeared on tomhayden.com (http://tomhayden.com/).


Charting the Data for US Airstrikes in Pakistan, 2004 – 2011
Created by Bill Roggio and Alexander Mayer

Since 2004, the US has been conducting a covert program to target and kill al Qaeda and Taliban commanders based in Pakistan’s lawless northwest. The program has targeted top al Qaeda leaders, al Qaeda’s external operations network, and Taliban leaders and fighters who threaten both the Afghan and Pakistani states.

The charts below look at the following:
1) the number of US airstrikes inside Pakistan per year;
2) civilian casualties vs. Taliban/al Qaeda casualties;
3) the distribution of strikes over time by tribal agencies;
4) the overall distribution of strikes, by tribal agencies;
5) the distribution of strikes over time by territories targeted;
6) the overall distribution of strikes, by territories targeted; and
7) the number of high value targets killed in territories managed by individual Taliban commanders.

The data is obtained from press reports from the Pakistani press (Daily Times, Dawn, Geo News, The News, and other outlets), as well as wire reports (AFP, Reuters, etc.), as well as reporting from The Long War Journal. Given the Taliban’s control of the areas where strikes occur, and a dearth of reporters in those areas, the exact numbers for casualties are difficult to know.

For more details on the Predator program and its effects, see LWJ report, Analysis: US air campaign in Pakistan heats up. For a list of al Qaeda and Taliban leaders thought to have been killed in the attacks, see LWJ report, Senior al Qaeda and Taliban leaders killed in US airstrikes in Pakistan 2004 – 2011.

This page was last updated on Tuesday, September 27, 2011, 8:35 pm GMT. These seven charts will be updated when information about prior or new strikes comes to light.

To view the charts and graphs, go to the source Website.

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.

ACTION ALERT: Criminal Cop Identified: Calls for His Arrest in NY Attack

September 28th, 2011 - by admin

Occupy Wall Street & Karen McVeigh / The Guardian – 2011-09-28 01:27:15

https://occupywallst.org/article/Office-Balogna

Officer Bologna
Occupy Wall Street

WALL STREET, NY (September 26, 2011) — Late last night we found out which white-collar officer had maced our innocent protesters. We did not release this information as we had not yet come to a consensus on how to approach the situation. Earlier today we discovered that this information had already been released.

Yesterday, an NYPD spokesperson implied that we had edited the video to remove incriminating actions on the part of our peaceful protesters. Here are a few different angles and cuts of the event that we had not previously released:

As you can tell, we did not need to edit the video to implicate this officer in a gross and unconscionable crime.

This is the man who maced these young women without provocation. A reporter from Boston Herald was also maced by a white collar police officer.

His name is Antony Bologna. We demand that he is charged for his crimes. We demand that he receives jail time.

We demand that Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly resigns. Not only can he not control his most senior officers, he is involved in actively sheltering them from receiving any punishment.

We demand that Mayor Michael Bloomberg address our General Assembly and apologize for the police brutality and the cover-up that followed.

This was an attempt to make us weak, this was an attempt to destroy or derail our message, our conversation. It has not succeeded. We have grown, we will grow. Today we received unconfirmed reports that over one hundred blue collar police refused to come into work in solidarity with our movement. These numbers will grow. We are the 99 percent. You will not silence us.

Please call:
Mayor Bloomberg:
+1 (212) 639-9675 or +1 (212) 788-2958
Deputy Commissioner of Public Information:
+1 (646) 610-6700
NYPD
Switchboard:
+1 (646) 610-5000
First precinct: +1 (212) 334-0611

Make our voice heard. Make sure that the world knows that everyone deserves equal protection, service, and punishment.

Remain true to our principles of non-violence.

UPDATE: 4:51 PM EST Two more videos of Officer Bologna senselessly attacking peaceful protesters.


Occupy Wall Street: ‘Pepper-Spray’ Officer Named in Bush Protest Claim
Anthony Bologna, NYPD officer accused of pepper-spray incident, is accused of civil rights violations at the 2004 Republican National Convention protests

Karen McVeigh / The Guardian

WALL STREET, NY (September 26, 2011) — A senior New York police officer accused of pepper-spraying young women on the “Occupy Wall Street” demonstrations is the subject of a pending legal action over his conduct at another protest in the city.

The Guardian has learned that the officer, named by activists as deputy inspector Anthony Bologna, stands accused of false arrest and civil rights violations in a claim brought by a protester involved in the 2004 demonstrations at the Republican national convention.

Then, 1,800 people were arrested during protests against the Iraq war and the policies of president George W Bush.

Alan Levine, a civil rights lawyer representing Post A Posr, a protester at the 2004 event, told the Guardian that he filed an action against Bologna and another officer, Tulio Camejo, in 2007. The case, filed at the New York Southern District Court, is expected to be heard next year.

Levine said that when he heard about the pepper spray incident “a bunch of us were wondering if any of the same guys were involved”.

The lawyer said Posr was arrested on 31 August 2004, after he approached the driver of a Volkswagen festooned with anti-abortion slogans.

His arrest was not directly related to the protest against the Republican convention, but was at a time of heightened tension in the New York.

Levine said: “Police contend that Posr hit the man with a rolled-up newspaper. He said he was just talking to the guy. Bologna ordered another officer, Camejo, to arrest Posr.”

Posr was charged with two counts of disorderly conduct and one count of second degree harassment, and held until September 2. On November 8, all charges against him were dropped.

Levine said that, in a departure from normal police procedure, his client was held in a special detention facility, at Pier 57, where he and others arrested were held until the protests were over.

The Guardian asked the NYPD to respond to the naming of the officer and the allegation that he was previously the subject of a civil rights complaint, but a spokesman said the department had not yet decided whether to comment.

Bologna’s name appeared on Twitter and on activists’ websites after the incident on Saturday. YouTube footage appears to show a white-shirted NYPD officer firing the spray into the eyes of the protesters, who are penned in by other officers with orange netting. As the officer walks away, two of the women crumple to the ground, screaming in pain.

There were a number of clashes between protesters and police at the march, when protesters moved uptown from their base at a park in the Financial District. There were about 80 arrests.

Hacker collective Anonymous claimed responsibility on Monday for posting Bologna’s details, which they said was in retribution for the pepper-spray incident.

The online postings identified Bologna as a deputy inspector of Patrol Borough Manhattan South, and revealed his phone number and family details.

The information, posted on a site called Pastebin, included a statement which read: “As we watched your officers kettle innocent women, we observed you barbarically pepper-spray wildly into the group of kettled women. We were shocked and disgusted by your behaviour.”

“You know who the innocent women were; now they will have the chance to know who you are. Before you commit atrocities against innocent people, think twice. WE ARE WATCHING!!! Expect Us!”

Since the post, other activists have followed suit, urging people to call his precinct to complain or to call him directly.

The move drew a mixed response from the Occupy Wall Street activists who have been camped out in Zuccotti Park for nine days. Many say they were angry about the “brutal and unnecessary” tactics used by police at the weekend.

Hero Vincent, 28, an artist from the Bronx, said: “I think it should be out there, so that people know what’s going on and if people want to enter his precinct and ask that he should be fired, they can. We are a peaceful protest. For them to attack us is wrong.”

Vincent, who was arrested for resisting arrest on Saturday, claimed he was kicked in the stomach by officers.

But there was also disquiet over the officer’s family details being made public.

Another protester, who did not want to be named, told the Guardian: “My dad is a police officer and he got a lot of death threats. I don’t know if his family details should be out there. But if the information is correct and he has a rights case against him, I’m extremely concerned that he was put into what was a very tense situation.”

One protester, Jeanne Mansfield — who said she was standing so close to the women sprayed in the face that her own eyes burned — claimed other NYPD officers had expressed disbelief at the actions of the senior officer.

In a vivid account of the incident in the Boston Review, Mansfield said: “A white-shirt, now known to be NYPD Lieutenant Anthony Bologna, comes from the left, walks straight up to the three young girls at the front of the crowd, and pepper-sprays them in the face for a few seconds, continuing as they scream ‘No! Why are you doing that?!'”

Despite her attempts to turn away from the “unavoidable” spray, Mansfield, who took part in Saturday’s march with her boyfriend on a whim after “stumbling across” it, said she suffered burning and temporary blindness in her left eye and tears streaming down her face.

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.

9/11 Disclosures: CIA Official behind 9/11 Identified; NJ Cop IDs Mossad Agents

September 28th, 2011 - by admin

Sibel Edmonds / Cryptome & Boiling Frogs Post & Dave Gahary / American Free Press – 2011-09-28 01:10:20

http://cryptome.org/0005/cia-officers.htm

Confirmed: Identity of the CIA Official behind 9/11, Rendition & Torture Cases is Revealed —
CIA Officers Alfreda Frances Bikowsky and Michael Anne Casey

Sibel Edmonds / Cryptome & Boiling Frogs Post

Alfreda Frances Bikowsky:
The Current Director of the CIA Global Jihad Unit

(September 21, 2011) — BNBoiling Frogs Post has now confirmed the identity of the CIA analyst at the heart of a notorious failure in the run-up to the September 11th tragedy. Her name is Alfreda Frances Bikowsky and she is the current director of the CIA Jihad Unit. Through three credible sources and documents we have confirmed Ms. Bikowsky’s former titles and positions, including her start at the CIA as an analyst for the Soviet Desk, her position as one of the case officers at the CIA’s Bin Laden Unit-Alec Station, her central role and direct participation in the CIA’s rendition-torture and black sites operations, and her current position as director of the CIA’s Global Jihad Unit.

The producers Nowosielski and Duffy have now made both names available [see below] at their website. They also identify the second CIA culprit as Michael Anne Casey. We have not been able to obtain confirmation by other sources on this person yet, but we are still working on it.

Alfreda Frances Bikowsky is the person described in New Yorker journalist Jane Mayer’s book The Dark Side as having flown in to watch the waterboarding of terrorist Khalid Sheikh Mohammad without being assigned to do so. “Its not supposed to be entertainment,” superiors were said to have told her. She was also at the center of “the el-Masri incident,” in which an innocent German citizen was kidnapped by the CIA in 2003 and held under terrible conditions without charges for five months in a secret Afghan prison. The AP characterized it as “one of the biggest diplomatic embarrassments of the US war on terrorism.”

Both the previous and current administrations appear to have deemed Alfreda Frances Bikowsky’s direct involvement in intentional obstruction of justice, intentional cover-up, lying to Congress, and overseeing rendition-kidnapping-torture practices as qualifying factors to have kept promoting her. She now leads the CIA’s Global Jihad Unit and is a close advisor to the President.


Joint Statement from George J. Tenet,
Cofer Black and Richard Blee

Secrecy Kills.com

WASHINGTON (August 3, 2011) — Richard Clarke was an able public servant who served his country well for many years. But his recently released comments about the run up to 9/11 are reckless and profoundly wrong. Clarke starts with the presumption that important information on the travel of future hijackers to the United States was intentionally withheld from him in early 2000. It was not.

He wildly speculates that it must have been the CIA Director who could have ordered the information withheld. There was no such order. In fact, the record shows that the Director and other senior CIA officials were unaware of the information until after 9/11.

The handling of the information in question was exhaustively looked at by the 9/11 Commission, the Congressional Joint Inquiry, the CIA Inspector General and other groups. The 9/11 Commission quite correctly concluded that “…no one informed higher levels of management in either the FBI or CIA about the case.”

In early 2000, a number of more junior personnel (including FBI agents on detail to CIA) did see travel information on individuals who later became hijackers but the significance of the data was not adequately recognized at the time.

Since 9/11 many systemic changes have been made to improve the watchlisting process and enhance information sharing within and across agencies.

Building on his false notion that information was intentionally withheld, Mr. Clarke went on to speculate–which he admits is based on nothing other than his imagination–that the CIA might have been trying to recruit these two future hijackers as agents. This, like much of what Mr. Clarke said in his interview, is utterly without foundation.

Many years after testifying himself at length before the 9/11 Commission and writing several books but making no mention of his wild theory, Mr. Clarke has suddenly invented baseless allegations, which are belied by the record and unworthy of serious consideration.

We testified under oath about what we did, what we knew and what we didn’t know. We stand by that testimony.



On 8/4/2011 3:37 PM, FF4 Films wrote:

Mr. Harlow, Thank you very much for providing that joint statement. We will make it available in its entirety to any media organization to which we distribute the Clarke interview, as requested.

We are passionate about telling an accurate story, but the refusal of Mr. Tenet, Mr. Black, and Mr. Blee to discuss it even on background makes that impossible, as we are forced to rely on the info we’ve been provided by those who will talk to us. I have summarized the highlights of that information in an attached doc, including many, many issues still unaccounted for with regard to CIA’s handling of Mihdhar/Hazmi, none of which have anything to do with Mr. Clarke’s judgment or accuracy.

If there are simple — even benign or admirable — explanations for those issues, I sincerely wish Mr. Tenet, et al, would break their media silence and simply provide those answers. I want them to realize that their failure to do so only appears to give credence to speculation like that in the Clarke interview.

Furthermore, Mr. Clarke is not the only gov’t insider who has stated to us that he/she believes these unexplained events can be explained by high-level deliberate choices within the CIA. If these folks are wrong, Mr. Tenet, et al, could easily choose to make them look foolish and set the record straight for all concerned by going through this story with us and providing explanations in detail, case by case. Their motivations in continuing to refuse to do so a full decade after the terrible tragedy and in the face of accusations from other gov’t officials is, frankly, baffling to me.

Also, a quick correction on a couple items in the joint statement: Mr. Clarke did previously make this same accusation in his 2009 book Your Government Failed You, p. 165-171. Also, the Commission line quoted, “no one informed higher levels of management in either the FBI or CIA about the case” actually began “It appears that…” and concerned only the search for Mihdhar/Hazmi from Aug 2001 onward, although we have spoken to an insider from Alec who claims even that simple fact was not the case.

In fact, they should be made aware that in our interview with Chairman Tom Kean, he told us explicitly that he believed the withholding of Mihdhar info was deliberate and purposeful (though he believed this was due to an absurd culture of secrecy within the Agency) and also stated that he and his staff believed Mr. Tenet provided false testimony on a number of points (“No, I don’t think he misspoke. I think he misled.”)

If you will, please pass on the attached list of issues with the CIA story, if anyone wants to provide a more detailed response. Thank you again.

Best,
Ray Nova, Producer / Co-Director
FF4 Films
Globalvision


On Aug 9, 2011, at 3:30 PM, Bill Harlow wrote:

Got your voice mail message over the weekend…sorry it has taken a little while to get back to you.
Yes…. the material you originally sent via XXX was made available to Tenet, Black and Blee and the statement I provided to you was their response in light of that material.
None of them have any plans to go beyond that statement or to respond to the additional material you sent via email on 8/4/11.
Bill Harlow

From: FF4 Films
Date: Tue, Aug 9, 2011 at 3:55 PM
Subject: Re: Your Request To Interview George Tenet
To: Bill Harlow

Understood, Mr. Harlow. Thank you for the response. Also, we truly hope Mr. Blee feels better soon.
Cordially,
Ray

Voice mail transcript from Bill Harlow
“Hi, this is Bill Harlow. I sent you an email yesterday with a statement from George Tenet, Cofer Black, and Rich Blee. Just wanted to make sure you received it…”


9/11 Cop Goes Public
Dave Gahary / American Free Press

(September 23, 2011) — The New Jersey police officer responsible for capturing five Israelis who filmed and celebrated while the World Trade Center towers burned has broken his silence, agreeing to a Sept. 16 exclusive interview with American Free Press.

As AFP readers are no doubt aware, these are the same Israelis who were working under the direction of Urban Moving Systems, a Mossad front company at the center of Israeli involvement in the Sept. 11 attacks.

Sgt. Scott DeCarlo has never spoken to the media about the details of that day except for two 30-second cameo appearances in Internet videos from undetermined sources. In fact, DeCarlo confirmed that this is the first, and last, interview he will ever grant in regard to this subject.

DeCarlo revealed to AFP hidden details about the events of 9-11 that mainstream media venues should have uncovered 10 years ago, if not for their near-total blackout of meaningful coverage where Israel is concerned.

Although not scheduled to work that day, DeCarlo reported anyway and “was posted on the highway” to prevent traffic from entering New York City.

“There was a BOLO, which is a ‘Be On the Look Out’ for a particular van, perhaps loaded with explosives,” explained DeCarlo, “that may have been on its way to destroy the George Washington Bridge.”

DeCarlo explained: “It [the suspicious van] happened to come our way, and I grabbed my sergeant [DeCarlo himself was a patrolman at that time] and said: ‘Hey, man, that’s our van.’ It wasn’t the exact license plate given reported — it was off by one numeral — but I said: ‘That’s gotta be it; it’s just too close.'”

He continued: “The van was coming off the [N.J.] Turnpike trying to get on Route 3. Traffic was rolling at two miles an hour, so we got in front of the van on foot, weapons drawn, and stopped it.”

All five of the Israeli spies refused to exit their vehicle, so DeCarlo was forced to get physical.

“We asked them to get out of the van, but they didn’t listen,” he said. “So, we . . . put them in handcuffs and did it as quickly as possible.”

AFP asked DeCarlo why he thought the Israelis refused to follow his orders. DeCarlo was unsure, but asked this writer, “You ever have a gun pointed at your head?”

DeCarlo then described what happened after the spies were dragged from their van. “When we removed them, one of the guys that was rather chatty said: ‘We’re not your enemy, we’re your friend. Our enemies are your enemies,'” DeCarlo said. “At that point, they said they were from Israel. They kept saying, ‘Hey, we’re on your side.'”

“We brought them over to the New Jersey State Police holding cells in the Meadowlands Stadium, and that’s the last I saw of them,” he said. Shortly after that, the FBI reportedly took over. The five Israelis were held for 10 weeks, but were eventually deported to Israel on charges of immigration violations. In November 2001, they appeared on an Israeli TV talk show discussing how they were in the U.S. “to document the event.”

Sgt. DeCarlo asked AFP to request interested parties not to contact him.

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.

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