Is the U.S. a Fascist Police-State?


Amerikan Police State

© Woodcock

I lived in Chile during the Pinochet dictatorship – I can spot a fascist police-state when I see one.

The United States is a fascist police-state.

Harsh words – incendiary, even. And none too clever of me, to use such language: Time was, the crazies and reactionaries wearing tin-foil hats who flung around such a characterization of the United States were disqualified by sensible people as being hysterical nutters – rightfully so.

But with yesterday’s Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project decision (No. 08-1498, also 09-89) of the Supreme Court, coupled with last week’sArar v. Ashcroft denial of certiorari (No. 09-923), the case for claiming that the U.S. is a fascist police-state just got a whole lot stronger.

First of all, what is a “fascist police-state”?

A police-state uses the law as a mechanism to control any challenges to its power by the citizenry, rather than as a mechanism to insure a civil society among the individuals. The state decides the laws, is the sole arbiter of the law, and can selectively (and capriciously) decide to enforce the law to the benefit or detriment of one individual or group or another.

In a police-state, the citizens are “free” only so long as their actions remain within the confines of the law as dictated by the state. If the individual’s claims of rights or freedoms conflict with the state, or if the individual acts in ways deemed detrimental to the state, then the state will repress the citizenry, by force if necessary. (And in the end, it’s always necessary.)

What’s key to the definition of a police-state is the lack of redress: If there is no justice system which can compel the state to cede to the citizenry, then there is a police-state. If there exists a pro forma justice system, but which in practice is unavailable to the ordinary citizen because of systemic obstacles (for instance, cost or bureaucratic hindrance), or which against all logic or reason consistently finds in favor of the state – even in the most egregious and obviously contradictory cases – then that pro forma judiciary system is nothing but a sham: A tool of the state’s repression against its citizens. Consider the Soviet court system the classic example.

A police-state is not necessarily a dictatorship. On the contrary, it can even take the form of a representative democracy. A police-state is not defined by its leadership structure, but rather, by its self-protection against the individual.

A definition of “fascism” is tougher to come by – it’s almost as tough to come up with as a definition of “pornography”.

The sloppy definition is simply totalitarianism of the Right, “communism” being the sloppy definition of totalitarianism of the Left. But that doesn’t help much.

For our purposes, I think we should use the syndicalist-corporatist definition as practiced by Mussolini: Society as a collection of corporate and union interests, where the state is one more competing interest among many, albeit the most powerful of them all, and thus as a virtue of its size and power, taking precedence over all other factions. In other words, society is a “street-gang” model that I discussed before. The individual has power only as derived from his belonging to a particular faction or group – individuals do not have inherent worth, value or standing.

Now then! Having gotten that out of the way, where were we?

Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project: The Humanitarian Law Project was advising groups deemed “terrorists” on how to negotiate non-violently with various political agencies, including the UN. In this 6-3 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, the Court ruled that that speech constituted “aiding and abetting” a terrorist organization, as the Court determined that speech was “material support”. Therefore, the Executive and/or Congress had the right to prohibit anyone from speaking to any terrorist organization if that speech embodied “material support” to the terrorist organization.

The decision is being noted by the New York Times as a Freedom of Speech issue; other commentators seem to be viewing it in those terms as well.

My own take is, Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project is not about limiting free speech – it’s about the state expanding it power to repress. The decision limits free speech in passing, because what it is really doing is expanding the state’s power to repress whomever it unilaterally determines is a terrorist.

In the decision, the Court explicitly ruled that “Congress and the Executive are uniquely positioned to make principled distinctions between activities that will further terrorist conduct and undermine United States foreign policy, and those that will not.” In other words, the Court makes it clear that Congress and/or the Executive can solely and unilaterally determine who is a “terrorist threat”, and who is not – without recourse to judicial review of this decision. And if the Executive and/or Congress determines that this group here or that group there is a “terrorist organization”, then their free speech is curtailed – as is the free speech of anyone associating with them, no matter how demonstrably peaceful that speech or interaction is.

For example, if the Executive – in the form of the Secretary of State – decides that, say, WikiLeaks or Amnesty International is a terrorist organization, well then by golly, it is a terrorist organization. It no longer has any right to free speech – nor can anyone else speak to them or associate with them, for risk of being charged with providing “material support” to this heinous terrorist organization known as Amnesty International.

But furthermore, as per Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, anyone associating with WikiLeaks – including, presumably, those who read it, and most certainly those who give it information about government abuses – would be guilty of aiding and abetting terrorism. In other words, giving WikiLeaks “material support” by providing primary evidence of government abuse would render one a terrorist.

This form of repression does seem to fit the above definition of a police-state. The state determines – unilaterally – who is detrimental to its interests. The state then represses that person or group.

By a 6-3 majority, the Supreme Court has explicitly stated that Congress and/or the Executive is “uniquely positioned” to determine who is a terrorist and who is not – and therefore has the right to silence not just the terrorist organization, but anyone trying to speak to them, or hear them.

And let’s just say that, after jumping through years of judicial hoops, one finally manages to prove that one wasn’t then and isn’t now a terrorist, the Arar denial of certiorari makes it irrelevant. Even if it turns out that a person is definitely and unequivocally not a terrorist, he cannot get legal redress for this mistake by the state.

So! To sum up: The U.S. government can decide unilaterally who is a terrorist organization and who is not. Anyone speaking to such a designated terrorist group is “providing material support” to the terrorists – and is therefore subject to prosecution at the discretion of the U.S. government. And if, in the end, it turns out that one definitely was not involved in terrorist activities, there is no way to receive redress by the state.

Sounds like a fascist police-state to me.

Remains of 72 people found at World Trade Center site


New York City officials say a renewed search this year of debris in and around the World Trade Center site has recovered 72 human remains.
June 23, 2010
Telegraph.co.uk
The sifting of more than 800 cubic yards (612 cubic meters) of debris recovered from ground zero and underneath roads around the lower Manhattan site began in April and ended Friday.
The greatest number of remains — 37 — were found from material underneath West Street, a highway on the west side of ground zero. The new debris was uncovered as construction work made new parts of the site accessible.

The city began a renewed search for human remains in 2006. More than 1,800 remains have been found.
Some have been matched to previously unidentified 9/11 victims.

No good info on bin Laden for years: CIA’s Panetta


Photo
Sun, Jun 27 2010
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – It has been years since the United States has had good intelligence on the whereabouts of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin laden, although he is thought to be in Pakistan, CIA director Leon Panetta said on Sunday.
He also gave a sobering account of the war in Afghanistan, saying the Taliban seemed to be strengthening with a stepped-up campaign of violence, even as U.S.-led forces undermine the Islamist movement with attacks on its leadership.
Progress is being made in the nearly nine-year-old conflict but “it’s harder, it’s slower than I think anyone anticipated,” Panetta said on ABC’s “This Week” program. He did not directly answer a question about whether the war was being won.
A harsh spotlight was thrown on the U.S. strategy last week when President Barack Obama fired General Stanley McChrystal as his top commander in Afghanistan and replaced him with General David Petraeus.
Now U.S. lawmakers from both parties are demanding more answers about the war’s progress. Some will be putting these questions to Petraeus at his confirmation hearing on Tuesday.
Not since “the early 2000s” have U.S. officials had “the last precise information about where he (bin Laden) might be located,” Panetta said.
“Since then, it’s been very difficult to get any intelligence on his exact location,” Panetta said. “He is, as is obvious, in very deep hiding … He’s in an area of the tribal areas of Pakistan.”
Denying the world’s most wanted man safe haven on the lawless Afghanistan-Pakistan border has been an aim of Western policy since the September 11 attacks in 2001, when the Taliban in effect spurned a U.S. demand to hand over the al Qaeda chief.
‘MOVING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION’
Panetta said the United States still believed it could ultimately “flush out” bin Laden, noting it had already “taken down” more than half of al Qaeda’s leadership.
In recent months, the CIA has ramped up the pace of unmanned drone strikes in the tribal areas of Pakistan that border Afghanistan, targeting not only high-level al Qaeda and Taliban targets but unknown foot soldiers as well.
Taliban militants, Panetta said, “with regards to some of the directed violence, they seem to be stronger. But the fact is, we are undermining their leadership and that I think is moving in the right direction.”
He said a Taliban leader who was dressed as a woman was killed over the weekend in a military operation.
Violence in Afghanistan is at its worst since the war began in late 2001, with the Taliban stepping up suicide bombings and assassinations, particularly in their Kandahar heartland.
Some 80 foreign soldiers have been killed so far in June, making it the deadliest month ever for international forces. More than 300 troops have been killed this year compared with about 520 for all of 2009.
Panetta said the key to success was not just in U.S. and allied efforts but whether Afghan security forces will be able to take over and maintain stability.
“This is not going to be easy,” he said. “It is going to take the Afghan army and police to be able to accept the responsibility that we pass on to them.”
Panetta said he had not seen any firm intelligence that there was a real interest in reconciliation among al Qaeda, the Taliban or the Haqqani network, a faction of the Afghan Taliban.
(Editing by John O’Callaghan)

Dr David Kelly: The damning new evidence that points to a cover-up by Tony Blair’s government

By Miles Goslett and Stephen Frost
Last updated at 9:24 AM on 26th June 2010
The official story of Dr David Kelly is that he took his own life in an Oxfordshire wood by overdosing on painkillers and cutting his left wrist with a pruning knife.
He was said to be devastated after being unmasked as the source of the BBC’s claim that the Government had ‘sexed up’ the case for war in Iraq.
A subsequent official inquiry led by Lord Hutton into the circumstances leading to the death came to the unequivocal conclusion that Kelly committed suicide.
Yet suspicions of foul play still hang heavy over the death of the weapons expert whose body was found seven years ago next month in one of the most notorious episodes of Tony Blair’s premiership.

Mystery: A new investigation in the death of weapons expert Dr David Kelly has revealed shocking new claims of a government cover-up

Mystery: A new investigation into the death of weapons expert Dr David Kelly has revealed shocking new claims of a government cover-up

Many believe the truth about the manner of Dr Kelly’s death has never been established properly. Some even fear that the 59-year-old, the world’s leading expert in biological and chemical weapons, was murdered.
Of course, it would be easy to dismiss these sceptics as wild conspiracy theorists — but for the fact they include eminent doctors and MPs.
The blanket of secrecy thrown over the case by the last Labour Government has only fuelled the sense of mystery.
In January this year, it emerged that unpublished medical and scientific records relating to Dr Kelly’s death – including the post-mortem report and photographs of his body – had been secretly classified so as not to be made public for 70 years.
Lord Hutton, who had been appointed by Blair, was responsible for this extraordinary gagging order, yet its legal basis has baffled experts accustomed to such matters.
Against this shadowy background, we have conducted a rigorous and thorough investigation into the mystery that surrounds the death of David Kelly. And our investigation has turned up evidence which raises still more disturbing questions.
Our new revelations include the ambiguous nature of the wording on Dr Kelly’s death certificate; the existence of an anonymous letter which says his colleagues were warned to stay away from his funeral; and an extraordinary claim that the wallpaper at Dr Kelly’s home was stripped by police in the hours after he was reported missing – but before his body was found.

Suicide?: An aerial view of Harrowdown Hill, Oxfordshire, where Dr David Kelly's body was discovered in July 2003

Suicide? An aerial view of Harrowdown Hill, Oxfordshire, where Dr David Kelly’s body was discovered in July 2003

Until now, details of Dr Kelly’s death certificate have never been made public.
But the certificate was obtained by a group of leading doctors who have spent almost seven years investigating the case; doctors who believe it is medically implausible that he died in the manner Hutton concluded and are alarmed at the unorthodox way the death certificate was completed.
Near the top of all British death certificates is a box headed ‘Date and place of death’, in which a doctor or coroner should declare the exact location of a death, if it has been established.
Dr Kelly’s certificate gives his date of death as July 18, 2003. It then states in reference to place of death: ‘Found dead at Harrowdown Hill, Longworth, Oxon’.
Why was the word ‘found’ used? Why was the crucial question of ‘place of death’ not answered? The death certificate should be precise about the time, cause and location of death.
The doctors who have investigated the case believe the failure to answer this question leaves open the possibility that Dr Kelly died somewhere other than Harrowdown Hill, the wood where his body was discovered. If this was the case, they are concerned the law may have been subverted over Dr Kelly’s death.

kelly

Dr David Kelly leaving The House of Commons, Tuesday July 15, 2003 after giving evidence to the Commons select committee

Any such irregularity would inevitably add to the pressure to reopen the case. Indeed, earlier this month it was revealed that Justice Secretary Ken Clarke and Attorney General Dominic Grieve, who have the power to undo Hutton’s 70-year gagging order and demand a coroner’s inquest into Dr Kelly’s death, are poised to re-open the case.
To this day, the location where Dr Kelly died remains a mystery — yet it is surely the most basic requirement of an investigation into any violent or unexpected death.
Nor was the question of the location of death raised at the Hutton Inquiry.
Amazingly, Chief Inspector (now Superintendent) Alan Young of Thames Valley Police, who headed the investigation into Dr Kelly’s death, did not even give evidence to the Hutton Inquiry.
Significantly, it emerged via a Freedom of Information request in 2008 that a police helicopter with heat-seeking equipment which searched for Dr Kelly on the night he disappeared did not detect his body.

Search: It is claimed that on the night Dr David Kelly went missing, officers from Thames Valley Police removed wallpaper from his house

Search: It is claimed that on the night Dr David Kelly went missing, officers from Thames Valley Police removed wallpaper from his house

At 2.50am on July 18, 2003, the helicopter flew over the exact spot where Dr Kelly’s body was found by a search party less than six hours later, at 8.30am.
Yet the pathologist who took Dr Kelly’s body temperature at 7pm on the day his body was found determined that Dr Kelly could still have been alive at 1.15am on July 18 — just 95 minutes before the helicopter flew over the patch of woodland.
If that was the case, the body would have been warm enough to be picked up by the helicopter’s heat sensors. Why didn’t the helicopter pick it up? Was it because Dr Kelly did not die where his body was found?
A full coroner’s inquest, which, by law, must be held following any sudden, unexpected or violent death, would have addressed these discrepancies.
But no full inquest was ever held.
Oxfordshire Coroner Nicholas Gardiner opened an inquest on July 21. But on August 13 the then Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer, Tony Blair’s former flatmate, ordered it to be adjourned indefinitely.
Falconer used an obscure law to suspend proceedings, and for the first time in English legal history he replaced an inquest with a non-statutory public inquiry to examine a single death, seemingly without any public explanation.
When we tracked Mr Gardiner down, he refused to say whether he was ‘either happy or unhappy’ about this decision, but he did admit: ‘Public inquiries of this sort are very rare creatures. I think this was only about the third there had ever been.’
In fact, it was the fourth. Using a public inquiry to replace a coroner’s inquest – under Section 17a of the Coroner’s Act – in order to examine a death has only ever happened in three other cases. And in each case, it was where multiple deaths have occurred.
These were the incidents in which 31 people were killed in the Ladbroke Grove rail crash in 2000; the 311 deaths connected with Dr Harold Shipman; and the 36 deaths associated with the Hull trawler Gaul which sank in the Barents Sea in 1974 and whose case was re-opened in 2004.
The public was led to believe that the death of Dr Kelly would be investigated more rigorously by the Hutton Inquiry than by a coroner.

Lord Hutton
Coroner Nicholas Gardiner
Conclusion: Lord Hutton’s inquiry ended while the judge was still taking evidence from witnesses. Coroner Nicholas Gardiner, right, refused to say whether he was ‘either happy or unhappy’ that an inquest he opened was indefinitely adjourned

But it is now clear that the opposite was in fact true – for Hutton lacked the powers of a coroner. He could not hear evidence under oath; he could not subpoena witnesses; he could not call a jury; and he could not aggressively cross-examine witnesses.
Astonishingly, on August 18, less than three weeks into the Hutton Inquiry, which opened on August 1, Dr Kelly’s death certificate was mysteriously completed and the cause of his death officially registered as haemorrhage.
Put another way, five weeks before the Hutton Inquiry ended on September 24, 2003, and while the judge was still taking evidence about Dr Kelly’s death from witnesses, the official record of the cause of death was written and the case effectively closed.
Misleadingly, the death certificate states an inquest did take place on August 14 – even though we now know no inquest actually happened. And extraordinarily, though it bears the signature of the registrar, it is not signed by either a doctor or a coroner as every death certificate should be.

kelly

Dr Kelly was discovered on Harrowdown Hill, next to woodland at the top centre left of the picture

Dr Michael Powers QC, a former coroner and an expert in coroner’s law who is working to secure a full and proper inquest, said: ‘This death certificate is evidence of a failure properly to examine the cause of Dr Kelly’s death. It is evidence of a pre-judgment of the issue. In a coroner’s inquest the cause of death would not be registered until the whole inquiry had been completed. As we see here, the cause of death was registered before the Hutton Inquiry had finished.
‘This is remarkable. To my mind it is evidence that the inquiry into Dr Kelly’s death was window-dressing because the conclusion had already been determined.’
Since January 2004 a group of doctors has worked unstintingly for a fresh inquest to be held into David Kelly’s death because of the blatant shortcomings of the Hutton Inquiry.
They are radiologist Stephen Frost, trauma surgeon David Halpin, vascular surgeon Martin Birnstingl, epidemiologist Andrew Rouse and internal medicine specialist
Christopher Burns-Cox. Their investigations have raised many doubts about the widespread assumption that Dr Kelly killed himself.
A letter they wrote to the Press in January 2004 marked the first time anyone had raised the possibility in the mainstream media of Dr Kelly’s death not being a suicide.
In 2009 they spent almost a year researching and writing a medical report which disputes Hutton’s assertion that Dr Kelly died from haemorrhage after severing the ulnar artery in his left wrist. The doctors argued that the wounds to Dr Kelly’s left wrist would not have caused him to bleed to death.
In January this year they discovered that Lord Hutton made the extraordinary 70-year gagging order.
Since then they have asked via their lawyers Leigh Day & Co to see the classified records, but under the last Labour Government, the Ministry of Justice – the department which holds them – repeatedly denied them access in the run-up to the last General Election. No reason was given.
Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker, who in 2007 wrote a book suggesting that Dr Kelly was murdered, used the Freedom of Information Act in January to apply to the Ministry of Justice to see the records.

kelly

British police officers guard a road leading to Harrowdown Hill near the home of Dr Kelly in Oxfordshire

His request was also denied. Using section 41 of the Act – known as an ‘absolute exemption’ – the ministry said it was not obliged to reveal the information.
Mr Baker, now a transport minister in the coalition government, has appealed against this decision. But he and the group of doctors are not the only ones who harbour suspicions about a cover-up of Dr Kelly’s death.
Only last month one of the doctors, David Halpin, received an anonymous and carefully worded letter from someone claiming to be a relative of a former colleague of David Kelly’s at the Ministry of Defence.
The correspondent said Kelly’s colleagues were ‘warned off’ attending his funeral – presumably by MoD officials, although this is not made explicit.
Similarly, in his recently published book ‘The End Of The Party’, the political  commentator Andrew Rawnsley (who has close links with the Labour high command) claims that Geoff Hoon, Defence Secretary at the time of Kelly’s death, was so furious about being removed by Tony Blair as Leader of the House of Commons in May 2006 that he wrote out a resignation statement.
According to Rawnsley, ‘he planned to make a speech about the [David] Kelly affair that he told friends could trigger the instant downfall of the Prime Minister’.
Frustratingly, there are no more details in Rawnsley’s book about what Hoon was referring to – but Hoon visited Dr Kelly’s widow shortly after his death and has never publicly denied this explosive charge.
Equally inexplicable is the attitude of Dr Nicholas Hunt, the forensic pathologist who attended the scene when Dr Kelly’s body was found on Harrowdown Hill.
Dr Hunt’s duty as forensic pathologist is to help uphold the rule of law. In March 2004, after the Hutton Report was published, Dr Hunt contacted Channel 4 News and said he thought a full coroner’s inquest should be held.
Yet mysteriously, he says now that – despite contacting the TV station – he has ‘maintained a silence on this [matter] on behalf of the [Kelly] family for a very long time’.

Tragic: Dr David Kelly's grave

Tragic: Dr David Kelly’s grave at St Mary’s church in Longworth, Oxfordshire. Several doctors argued that the wounds to his left wrist would not have caused him to bleed to death

Adding further to the case for a proper inquest is a new fascinating claim by a woman who has also worked closely with the doctors and helped Norman Baker with his book.
Rowena Thursby, a former publishing executive who became fascinated with the case and started looking into it, told us that Dr Kelly’s widow, Janice, admitted to her that on the night Dr Kelly was reported missing in July 2003 – but hours before his body was found -Thames Valley Police asked her and her daughters to leave their house and wait in the garden.
It later emerged that while the Kellys were outside, officers stripped wallpaper from their sitting room. Why would they have done that? Could they have been ‘sweeping’ his property for listening devices?
It is certainly a possibility. Despite the fact that the Labour government patronisingly dismissed him as a ‘Walter Mitty character’ and nothing more than a middle ranking
official in the Ministry of Defence, Dr Kelly was arguably the world’s pre-eminent expert on biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction.
We have established that he had access to the highest levels of the security services and was cleared to see the most highly classified intelligence.
The claim that police removed wallpaper from his house has never been confirmed or denied by Thames Valley Police — they refuse to make any comments about the Kelly case.
All these new revelations add weight to the list of unanswered questions surrounding Dr Kelly’s death, such as why were no fingerprints found on the knife with which he allegedly killed himself — even though he wore no gloves.
As with the extraordinary details of the helicopter search, this vital information was only obtained using the Freedom of Information Act almost five years after the Hutton
Inquiry ended. It was not heard at the inquiry.
The doctors insist that concern about Dr Kelly’s death will continue to deepen until a full coroner’s inquest is heard. If one is finally granted, many will expect Tony Blair and Lord Falconer to be called to explain under oath why they went to such lengths to avoid the normal, rigorous and respected course of this country’s law.
Until this happens their reputations will continue to suffer, as will the reputation of the British legal system. The unavoidable conclusion must be that a full coroner’s inquest is the only way the whole truth about the Kelly affair, however uncomfortable, will emerge.

Gary Faulkner, Osama bin Laden hunter, to appear on ‘David Letterman’ [Updated]

Mythmakers: Keep up the good work.

June 25, 2010 | 12:49 pm
Gary_faulkner Forget the Uma-Oprah joke. On Monday, it’s all about Osama. Kind of.
Gary Faulkner, the American detained in Pakistan while on his self-imposed mission to kill Osama bin Laden, will appear on the “Late Show with David Letterman.”
Faulkner, 50, made headlines when he was arrested June 13 while attempting his one-man crusade to cross into Afghanistan from northern Pakistan. The bearded construction worker from Greeley, Colo., was armed with a pistol, sword, night-vision goggles and a map — hardly the tools needed for a construction job. That’s because Faulkner told police he was on a quest to avenge the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks by killing Bin Laden. 
He was eventually moved to Islamabad and then released without charges Wednesday. He later returned to the U.S, but the hunt has only just begun. Faulkner told reporters upon his return that his search for Bin Laden wasn’t over and that he would try to return to Pakistan once more.
Until then, he’s making his way to Letterman’s couch.
[Updated at 2:32 p.m.: For those in bed before 11:35 p.m., there’s another chance to catch Faulkner on his media blitz. He’ll also appear on CBS’ “The Early Show” on Monday.]
— Yvonne Villarreal
Photo: Gary Faulkner speaks with the media at Denver International Airport on Thursday. Credit: Chris Schneider / Associated Press

Fact Sheet For a Criminal Investigation of the Events of September 11th, 2001

 

The worst single criminal act ever committed on US soil, the attacks of September 11th, 2001 have served as justification for: US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq; a new doctrine of preventive war; the USA PATRIOT Act and Department of Homeland Security; torture and indefinite detention of “enemy combatants”; surveillance of citizens without a court warrant; and shifting trillions of dollars in public spending priorities.
Surveys by Zogby and Scripps-Howard found that significant propor- tions of US citizens believe their own government had “actionable foreknowledge” of the attacks and “consciously failed to act” (Zogby 2004), or even that elements of the state were involved in orchestrat- ing the attacks. The widespread disbelief in the official story indicates a deep crisis of trust in government, one that only an exhaustive and fearless criminal investigation can address.
We firmly believe there is probable cause for such an investigation. The case for investigation is based on three pillars:
1) evidence of cover-up and a lack of serious investigation after the fact;
2) evidence of misconduct on the day of 9/11 3) evidence of foreknowledge and preparation before
September 11th.
Undertaking a full-scale, truly independent investigation is imperative, not only because there must be justice for the victims, but also because of the role 9/11 has played in justifying policies of aggression suppos- edly justifed by 9/11 must be halted, and a shattered public trust must be repaired.
The 9/11 Cover-up
• During their 2002 inquiry, the Congressional joint intelligence com- mittees (who redacted 1/4 of their report) were scrutinized by an FBI counter-investigation, which invaded the Senate in search of an alleged leak. It was widely believed that the FBI investigation may have been intended to have a chilling effect on the conduct of the Congressional Joint Inquiry.
• The Congressional investigation failed to pursue solid evidence of a money trail to the alleged hijackers from the US-allied Pakistani intel- ligence agency (ISI). The ISI chief was removed from his post when strong evidence of his connection to the plot surfaced in early October 2001, but no serious punitive action was taken against him.
• Evidence was destroyed or withheld, including suppression of the discovery of black boxes from the two flights at Ground Zero and the destruction of tapes made by the air traffic controllers who handled the same flights.2
• Whistleblowers such as FBI translator Sibel Edmonds and Anthony Shaffer of “Able Danger” were disciplined or fired, even as FBI, CIA, and military officials who were blamed for failures received promo- tions and medals.
• The September 11th relatives who lobbied for the 9/11 Commission (after 14 months of White House resistance) submitted 400 questions that Commissioners accepted as a “roadmap.” 70 percent of the ques- tions were fully ignored in The 9/11 Commission Report. Many of the relatives later declared the Report a whitewash.3
• 9/11 Commissioner Max Cleland resigned in late 2003, calling the panel a whitewash and saying, “Bush is scamming America.” There
was no significant response or inquiry from anyone else in govern- ment, or the major media.4
• Philip Zelikow, the 9/11 Commission executive director who oversaw the panel’s activities, refused to step down after the Septem- ber 11th families called for his resignation due to grave conflicts of interest (close association with Condoleezza Rice, member of White House national security staff both before 9/11 and in 2002, member of Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board).
• Rice may have committed perjury in her April 2004 Commission testimony that an August 2001 Presidential Daily Briefing to Bush was only of “historical significance,” when in fact it detailed current intelligence.
• The 9/11 Commission Report claimed the financial background of the attacks was unknown, but dismissed the question as being of “little practical significance” (page 172). Since when doesn’t an investigation “follow the money”?
• Large sections of the report are based on the confessions of “enemy combatants” such as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, as provided in the form of transcripts by the government. The 9/11 Commission staff was not allowed to see or interview any of these “enemy combatants.”
• Over a period of several years, NORAD, FAA, White House and military officials gave widely divergent and conflicting accounts of the air defense response to 9/11, but no one was ever held accountable for upholding falsehoods. The 9/11 Commission chairs later admitted they considered a criminal investigation of NORAD’s statements, but preferred instead to present a unanimous report.
• The focus of the Commission will be on the future. We’re not interested in trying to assess blame. We do not consider that part of the Commission’s responsibility. – Lee Hamilton, 9/11 Commission vice-chairman.
The above is only a sampling of a large body of official misconduct after the fact. What is being hidden?
Cause for Suspicion of Official Misconduct On the Day of September 11th
The diversion of Flight 11 first became known to air traffic controllers soon after 8:13 am. The last flight crashed at either 10:03 or 10:06 am. For most or all of that time, each of the officials at the top of the civilian and military US defense chain of command were (from their own accounts or from public records) occupied in ways that absented them from any meaningful decision-making capacity. That includes George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff Gen. Henry Shelton and his acting deputy Gen. Richard Myers, the head of NORAD, Ralph Eberhard, the commander of the Pentagon “war room”, Gen. Montague Winfield, and the commander-in-chief of the day’s extensive set of military wargames, Adm. Richard Mies.
The absence of these officials and the weakness of their respective excuses are consistent with either stunningly widespread negligence or an intentional, coordinated avoidance. The top officials who (by their own accounts) did exercise a decision-making capacity — Rich- ard Cheney, counter-terror chief Richard Clarke, and Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta – present conflicting accounts of what happened when, and in Clarke’s case also contradict the accounts of Myers and Rumsfeld, such that some of these men must be lying. The 9/11 Commission either ignored these accounts or “corrected” them without explaining who was in the wrong.
Meanwhile, U.S. air defenses displayed an unprecedented failure to follow longstanding, standard, automatic procedures for interception and reconnaissance of hijacked and possibly hostile aircraft. The re- sponsible agencies later produced conflicting accounts of their failures. The wargames and drills begun on the morning of September 11th
by the military and other agencies incidentally involved rehearsals of many element of the attacks: hijackings, an attack on New York City and a plane crash into a government building in Washington, among other scenarios. The 9/11 Commission Report fully omits any discus- sion of these wargames, which are a matter of public record, other than to mention a parallel operation which drew substantial domestic air defense forces to the Arctic (Northern Vigilance). The report fails to systematically review or square up any of the above. Thus the actions of key officials and agencies on the day of September 11th have not been adequately investigated and directly suggest criminal negligence, reckless disregard for human life on the part of state au- thorities, and the possibilty of intentional facilitation or participation in the crimes.
An independent investigation would also examine allegations by physi- cists, engineers and experts in buildings demolition who make the case that the three WTC buildings (including the skyscraper WTC 7) could not have collapsed the way they did without the use of explosive charges. (The official investigations by FEMA and NIST began by ruling out an examination of this hypothesis, though NIST promised an examination of this hypothesis with regard to WTC 7 in its final report, which so far has been delayed for two years.)
Evidence of Official Foreknowledge, Facilitation, or Participation in the Attacks
• FBI translator Sibel Edmonds says documents she saw prove that the FBI was aware of plans to attack the US with airplanes and knew the targets and the dates in advance. She was fired and placed under strict gag orders under the little-used State Secrets Act.
• The recollections of Behrooz Sharshar, FBI field officer Robert Wright, counterterror chief John O’Neill, Coleen Rowley and Harry Samit of the Minnesota FBI, the “Phoenix Memo,” David Schippers, the 1991 orders restricting investigations against potential terrorists, the Bush administration’s Feb. 2001 order to “back off ” the Bin Ladin family, and the FBI reaction to the “Bojinka” plot of the 1990s do not, when considered in sum, point to mere incompetence, but rather indi- cate high-level corruption and protection of criminal networks, includ- ing the network of the alleged 9/11 conspirators. (Nearly all of these examples were omitted from or relegated to fleeting footnotes in The 9/11 Commission Report.) In January 2001 the Bush administration issued an “199i” order (in FBI parlance) to suspend investigations into the Bin Ladin family and alleged Saudi financing of terror networks. Several FBI agents and employees have testified to high-level obstruc- tion of field investigations that might have led to the alleged hijack-
ers or their possible financiers, or otherwise exposed networks of potential terrorists in the months prior to Sept. 11. The FBI’s former top investigator of al-Qaeda, John O’Neill, claimed that investigations were not pursued in order to accommodate oil interests and the Saudi alliance. He died on Sept. 11.
• On the evening of Sept. 10, Gen. Winfield requested that his regu- larly scheduled shift as commander of the NMCC the next morning at 8:30am be moved back by two hours, to 10:30am. This coincidentally corresponded to the time of the attacks. Newsweek reported that on Sept. 10, Pentagon brass canceled travel plans for the next morning due to an unspecified warning. The 9/11 Commission again did not pursue these items, possibly suggestive of foreknowledge.
• Multiple allied foreign agencies informed the US government of a coming attack in detail, including the manner and likely targets of the attack (aerial attacks by suicide pilots, according to Russian intel- ligence and others), the name of the operation (the “Big Wedding,” according to a Jordanian warning), and the names of certain men later identified as being among the 9/11 ringleaders (provided by the Israeli Mossad). Russian president Vladimir Putin said he communicated one of the warnings himself. “The Complete 9/11 Timeline” compiled by editor Paul Thompson at cooperativeresearch.org details dozens of further, specific, actionable warnings from governments and individu- als and other cases of possible foreknowledge, and how these were neglected, ignored, or purposefully blocked from reaching anyone who would act to enforce the law. The 9/11 Commission Report chose to ignore the entire issue.
• Highly irregular activity in financial markets just prior to 9/11 offers prima facie evidence of foreknowledge of the attacks. A disproportion- ately high number of ‘put’ options were purchased on United Airlines, American Airlines, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Merrill Lynch &
Co. and other companies directly and seriously impacted by the 9/11 attacks. The 9/11 Commission Report acknowledged the existence of some of the irregular financial activity, but offered a logically fallacious explanation for its insignificance.
Further Matters for Criminal Investigation
The Poisoning of New York
Christie Todd Whitman issued a series of false televised statements to the public in the weeks after Sept. 11, assuring that the air in Lower Manhattan was safe to breathe. White House officials suppressed the initial EPA report, which did not support her claims (as was subsequent- ly admitted in 2003). Consciously downplaying this risk and ultimately raising the fatality rate would constitute a serious crime. Hundreds
of first responders are now sick. Many are dying, and hundreds have called for Whitman’s indictment. The New York papers quote her false assurances in the aftermath of Sept. 11 on a weekly basis.
War Planning Pre-dated Attacks
By prosecuting the 9/11 attacks as an “act of war” instead of as a “crime against humanity” — and violating international law in the process — the Bush administration assured that the invasions of both Afghani- stan and Iraq would be carried out. These invasions were planned and intended in advance of 9/11, as even former administration insiders
like Richard Clarke and Paul O’Neill have revealed in the case of Iraq. The Bush administration engaged in back-channel negotiations with the Taliban until June 2001, providing $125 million in aid to Afghanistan before the talks broke off. When the Taliban refused a unity govern- ment and a pipeline deal, the US representative promised the Taliban would receive “a carpet of gold or a carpet of bombs.” (according to Dasquie and Brisard’s well-documented The Forbidden Truth.) A plan to strike Al-Qaeda worldwide, including an invasion of Afghanistan, was formulated and placed on Bush’s desk for approval on Sept. 9th, as per Condoleezza Rice’s admission of May 2002.
Many Layers of Crime
A fearless probe would investigate the failures of officials charged with protecting the public; criminal negligence; public endangerment (including Whitman/EPA); foreknowledge and failure to act before the fact; wanton facilitation of criminal acts (obstruction of leads on alleged hijackers); aiding and abetting terrorist activity (e.g., Pakistani and Saudi financial trails); obstruction of justice after the fact; providing false accounts; perjury under oath; destruction of evidence (e.g., FAA tapes and WTC black boxes); harrassment of whistleblowers (e.g., Shaf- fer and Edmonds); withholding of evidence relevant to criminal pro- ceedings and official investigations; misuse of a criminal act by laying false blame for the purpose of an agenda of aggressive war and crimes against humanity; and the possibility of direct high crimes, treason and murder by officials of the United States government, members of US intelligence contractor networks, and operatives of allied intelligence agencies.
Footnotes
discovery of the black boxes was claimed by two Ground Zero first respond- ers, see http://summeroftruth.org/groundzero.html and confirmed by an NTSB official, see http://www.counterpunch.org/lindorff12202005.html
3. See film, “9/11 Press for Truth,” http://www.911pressfortruth.com, also avail- able in full via YouTube and other public video domains. An assessment of the Commission’s performance in answering questions can be downloaded at 911truth.org
4. See “A Brief History of the Kean Commission”, http://justicefor911.org/Part_I_Complaint_111904.php)
Other Helpful Web Resources
The Complete 9/11 Timeline Jim Hoffman’s 9/11 Research Site 911research.wtc7.net The 9/11 Reading Room http://www.911readingroom.org Scholars for 9/11 Truth & Justice http://www.stj911.org

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