‘Al-Qaeda assassin worked for MI6’, secret cables claim

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-13191959

Aftermath of Karachi Sheraton bombingThirteen people were killed in the bombing of the Karachi Sheraton in 2002

An alleged al-Qaeda militant suspected of bombing a luxury hotel and two churches in Pakistan in 2002 was an informer for MI6, it has been claimed.

Adil Hadi al Jazairi Bin Hamlili was detained at Guantanamo Bay between 2003 and last year.

The Guardian claims to have seen secret Wikileaks files in which he is described as an al-Qaeda “assassin”.

Other Wikileaks files suggest a mosque in north London served as a “haven” for Islamic extremists.

According to the files, 35 men held at Guantanamo Bay had gone to fight against Western forces in Afghanistan after being indoctrinated in Britain. The US documents identify two preachers at the Finsbury Park Mosque – Abu Hamza and Abu Qatada – as key recruiters.

Those revelations are contained in a Daily Telegraph report on separate secret files which suggested London was the hub of a global terror network.

The files, written by US military commanders, say that by the late 1990s the mosque was attracting young men from around the world, who were radicalised before being sent to training camps in Afghanistan.

It said the 35 detainees had passed through Finsbury Park Mosque as well as other centres such as Regent’s Park and East London mosques and a rented room above a pub near Baker Street.

US intelligence officials said Finsbury Park served as “an attack planning and propaganda production base” for al-Qaeda.

BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner said some of the files show MI6 in a very bad light.

He said: “A lot of it doesn’t surprise me… In my view they completely underestimated how dangerous recruiters and proselytisers like Abu Qatada and Abu Hamza were.”

The Guardian says Mr Hamlili was described in his Guantanamo assessment file as a “facilitator, courier, kidnapper and assassin for al-Qaeda”.

US interrogators believed he was also a British intelligence informer.

Sent back to Algeria

But, despite the accusations, he was never brought to trial and although he was sent back to his native Algeria last year it is not clear whether he is still in custody.

Wikileaks released the files of 759 Guantanamo detainees at the weekend.

The files are also claimed to reveal:

  • That the US government suspected the BBC of being a “possible propaganda media network” for al-Qaeda, because a phone number for a corporation office was found in the possession of several suspected terrorists, according to the Telegraph. Director of BBC Global News, Peter Horrocks, has written to the newspaper, pointing out that he “strongly disagrees” with their interpretation of the files.
  • That al-Qaeda had hidden a nuclear weapon in Europe for detonation should Osama Bin laden be captured
  • That there were attempts by al-Qaeda to recruit workers at London’s Heathrow Airport.

Mr Hamlili was captured in Pakistan in June 2003 and taken to Bagram detention centre in Afghanistan where he was interviewed by the CIA.

The CIA agents were apparently told he had been an informer for MI6 and the Canadian secret service since 2000.

But the CIA claimed he had “withheld important information from the Canadian Secret Intelligence Service and the British Secret Intelligence Service… and to be a threat to US and allied personnel in Afghanistan and Pakistan”.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who has apparently admitted being the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, allegedly told his interrogators Mr Hamlili was behind a March 2002 grenade attack on a church in Islamabad, which killed five people.

Mr Mohammed also alleged Mr Hamlili was responsible for an attack on a church in Pakistan in December 2002 which killed three children.

Separate US intelligence reports said Mr Hamlili was “possibly involved” in a bombing outside Karachi’s Sheraton hotel in May 2002 which killed 11 French engineers and two Pakistani citizens.

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Why the Planes Were Not Intercepted on 9/11: The Wall Street Lawyer and the Special Ops Hijack Coordinator

Why the Planes Were Not Intercepted on 9/11: The Wall Street Lawyer and the Special Ops Hijack Coordinator

Of the many unanswered questions about the attacks of September 11, one of the most important is: Why were none of the four planes intercepted?  A rough answer is that the failure of the US air defenses can be traced to a number of factors and people.  There were policy changes, facility changes, and personnel changes that had recently been made, and there were highly coincidental military exercises that were occurring on that day.  But some of the most startling facts about the air defense failures have to do with the utter failure of communications between the agencies responsible for protecting the nation.  At the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), two people stood out in this failed chain of communications.  One was a lawyer on his first day at the job, and another was a Special Operations Commander who was never held responsible for his critical role, or even questioned about it.

The 9/11 Commission wrote in its report that – “On 9/11, the defense of U.S. airspace depended on close interaction between two federal agencies: the FAA and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).”[1]

According to the Commission, this interaction began with air traffic controllers (ATCs) at the relevant regional FAA control centers, which on 9/11 included Boston, New York, Cleveland, and Indianapolis.  In the event of a hijacking, these ATCs were expected to “notify their supervisors, who in turn would inform management all the way up to FAA headquarters.  Headquarters had a hijack coordinator, who was the director of the FAA Office of Civil Aviation Security or his or her designate. “

The hijack coordinator would then “contact the Pentagon’s National Military Command Center (NMCC)” and “the NMCC would then seek approval from the Office of the Secretary of Defense to provide military assistance.  If approval was given, the orders would be transmitted down NORAD’s chain of command [to the interceptor pilots].”[2]

The 9/11 Commission report (the report) indicated that the military was eventually notified about all the hijackings but none of those notifications were made in time to intercept the hijacked aircraft.  The report also contradicted a good deal of testimony given on the subject by suggesting that earlier statements made by military leaders, in testimony to the Commission, were “incorrect.”  The corrections to these statements led to a reassessment of how much time the military actually had to respond to requests for interception from the FAA.  Ultimately, the report stated that — “NEADS air defenders had nine minutes’ notice on the first hijacked plane, no advance notice on the second, no advance notice on the third, and no advance notice on the fourth.”[3]

The report does not place blame for the failure to intercept on any specific people in the chain of communications, but it specifically exonerates “NEADS commanders and officers” and “[i]ndividual FAA controllers, facility managers and Command Center managers.”  In fact, the report goes so far as to praise these people for how well they did.[4]  Curiously, the hijack coordinator at FAA headquarters was not mentioned in the list of those who were exonerated.

The ATCs did notify their management as required, but further notification to FAA headquarters (FAA HQ) was apparently riddled with delays.  FAA HQ got plenty of notice of the four hijacked planes but failed to do its job.  One of the most glaring examples was demonstrated by the failure of FAA HQ to request military assistance for the fourth hijacking, that of Flight 93.

On page 28, the report says: “By 9:34, word of the hijacking had reached FAA headquarters.”  Despite this advance notice, Flight 93 “crashed” in Pennsylvania sometime between 10:03 and 10:07.

To put this in perspective, at 9:34 it had been over 30 minutes since a second airliner had crashed in the World Trade Center (WTC).  It was known that a third plane was hijacked and it was about to crash into the Pentagon.  Everyone in the country knew we were under a coordinated terrorist attack via hijacked aircraft because, as of 9:03, mainstream news stations including CNN had already been televising it.

That was the situation when FAA HQ was notified about a fourth hijacking.  Given those circumstances, an objective observer would expect the highest level of urgency throughout all levels of government in response to that fourth hijacking.  But FAA management did not follow the protocol to ask for military assistance.  The 9/11 Commission contends that FAA HQ gave air defenders no notice whatsoever of the hijacking of Flight 93 until after the plane had been destroyed.  For whatever reasons, the FAA’s Command Center (located in Herndon, VA) did not request military assistance either.  In fact, neither the Command Center nor FAA HQ contacted NMCC to request military assistance for any of the hijacked planes.

Therefore it seems reasonable to look at the people whose roles were most important in this failed chain of communications.  Once the entire country was aware that we were under attack and that planes were being hijacked and used as weapons, the two people who were most important to the FAA’s response were 1) the person running the FAA’s national Command Center and 2) the hijack coordinator at FAA headquarters.

It turns out that these two people were both new to their jobs.  In fact, it was the first day on the job for Benedict Leo Sliney, the national operations manager at FAA’s Command Center.

Benedict Sliney

Benedict Sliney was an ATC in the US Air Force during the Vietnam War and, after that, worked at the FAA for the first half of his professional career.  In the 1980s, Sliney went on from the FAA to work as an attorney and continued in that career throughout the 1990s.  He worked for several law firms during this time, handling various kinds of cases, and he was a partner in some of those firms.

Sliney’s clients included financial investors who were accused of Securities and Exchange violations.  In one 1998 case, he represented Steven K. Gourlay, Jr., an employee of Sterling Foster.  It was reported that Sterling Foster was “secretly controlled” by Randolph Pace and was at the center of “one of the most notorious scams ever.”[5]  Sliney got Gourlay’s charges dropped in 1998 but, in a related 2002 case, Gourlay pled guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud, mail fraud and wire fraud, and was sentenced to six months in prison.[6,7]

In the summer of 2000, Sliney represented Merrill Lynch in a case in which the delay of the transfer of clients’ funds to Smith Barney was said to have “caused their investments with Merrill, Lynch to lose some $638,000 in value.”  Sliney was able to get Merrill Lynch off the hook.[8]

For whatever reasons, Sliney decided to leave his lucrative law career behind just months before 9/11 in order to return to the FAA.  It was reported that Jack Kies, FAA’s manager of tactical operations, offered Sliney the job of Command Center national operations manager.  Instead, Sliney asked to work as a specialist and he started in that role.  Kies offered Sliney the national operations manager position again six months later and Sliney accepted.[9] His first day on the job was 9/11/01.

On 9/11, others present at the FAA’s Command Center outranked Sliney.  Interviews of those others, however, including Linda Schuessler and John White, confirm that Ben Sliney was given the lead in the Command Center’s response to the hijackings that day. Despite that critical role, Sliney is mentioned only one time in the narrative of the 9/11 Commission report.

According to the summary of his interview for the investigation, Sliney was first notified of “a hijack in progress” sometime between 8:15 and 8:20 EDT.  This was about the same time as communications were lost with American Airlines Flight 11, the first of the planes to be hijacked, and it was about 30 minutes before that plane crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center (WTC).  It was nearly two hours before Flight 93 was destroyed in Pennsylvania.  Incredibly, according to Sliney’s interview, it was not until after a second confirmed hijacking occurred and two planes had crashed in the WTC (nearly an hour after he learned about the first hijacking) that Sliney “realized that the hijackers were piloting the aircraft.”[10]

After the second tower was hit, Sliney responded by asking for a military response via the special military outfit assigned to the FAA’s Command Center,  the Air Traffic Services Cell (ATSC).  This was at approximately 9:06 am.  At the time, one of the three military officers in the ATSC called the NMCC and that officer was told that “senior leaders” at the NMCC are “in a meeting to determine their response” to the attacks, and will call back.[11] As this example shows, there are at least as many unanswered questions about what went on at the NMCC that morning as there are about what happened at the FAA.[12]

Several of the FAA’s top people confirmed that the military was engaged and knew about the hijackings early on.  This included Jeff Griffith at the Command Center and Monte Belger, the FAA’s acting Deputy Administrator, who was present at FAA Headquarters.  Belger stated that — “[T]here were military people on duty at the FAA Command Center, as Mr. Sliney said. They were participating in what was going on. There were military people in the FAA’s Air Traffic Organization in a situation room. They were participating in what was going on.”[13]

Sliney’s interview summary is full of phrases like he “did not recall” and “was not aware,” although he did recall “being informed” that interceptors were eventually launched (too late).  Apparently, Sliney didn’t even know what the fighters would do if they were launched. He recalled thinking: “Well, what are they going to do?”  Additionally, in an apparent defensive posture, Sliney claimed — “definitively that he did not receive a request to authorize a request to the military for assistance.”[14]

One might think that the national operations manager for the FAA’s Command Center would not need a “request to authorize a request for military assistance” and that he might know what military assistance would entail.  But Sliney’s interview summary suggests that he did not even know what the protocol was for requesting military assistance in the event of a hijacking.  Sliney’s understanding on 9/11 “and today” (two years later, when the interview was conducted) was that an FAA request for military assistance “emanates from the effected Center…directly to the military.”  That is, Sliney supposedly was not aware of any role that the FAAs’ Command Center or FAA HQ might have had in the request for interception of hijacked aircraft.  This appears to be in contradiction to the protocol given by the 9/11 Commission report and it is definitely in contradiction to the concept of a “hijack coordinator.”

In addition to the confusion about the Command Center’s role in requesting military assistance, it seems there was only one person at FAA headquarters who was authorized to request military assistance.  On 9/11, Ben Sliney was told that no one could find that one person.  Sliney later recounted his experience learning of that fact in this way.

I said something like, ‘That’s incredible. There’s only one person. There must be someone designated or someone who will assume the responsibility of issuing an order, you know.’ We were becoming frustrated in our attempts to get some information. What was the military response?”[15]

Michael Canavan

The hijack coordinator at FAA headquarters, Lt. Gen. Michael A. Canavan, had been in his position for only nine months and would leave the job within a month of 9/11.  Surprisingly, although Mike Canavan was mentioned in the 9/11 Commission report, he was not cited for his role as the FAA’s hijack coordinator, a role that was at the center of the failure to intercept the planes on 9/11.

Instead of being mentioned as the hijack coordinator, Canavan was in the report because he had been the commander of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), which ran the military’s counterterrorism operations and covert missions.  The report described Canavan’s part in the the failure to follow-through on a carefully laid-out 1998 CIA plan to capture Osama bin Laden (OBL) in Afghanistan.  Canavan was quoted as saying that the plan put tribal Afghanis at too much risk and that the “operation was too complicated for the CIA.”[16]

Nearly the entirety of Canavan’s career was in military special operations.  He was a Special Forces soldier for many years and before he was JSOC Commander he was Special Operations Commander for the US European Command (SOCEUR), which included operations throughout Africa as well.  Canavan was SOCEUR from 1994 to 1996 and JSOC Commander from 1996 to 1998.

JSOC is a successor organization to the Office of Policy Coordination (OPC), which was a secret government-funded organization authorized by the National Security Council in 1948. The OPC was led by CIA director Allen Dulles and Frank Wisner, a State Department official who wielded unprecedented power due to his position in New York law and financial circles.  The JSOC was created in 1980 by the Pentagon and run by Ted Shackley’s OPC colleague, Richard Stillwell.  According to author Joseph Trento, JSOC quickly became “one of the most secret operations of the US government.”[17]

Creation of the JSOC was, ostensibly, a response to the failed 1980 hostage rescue attempt in Iran called Operation Eagle Claw.  JSOC immediately went on to engage in an “array of highly covert activities” by way of “black budgets.”[18] This included operations in Honduras and El Salvador which supported the illegal wars associated with the Nicaraguan rebels called the Contras.

In 1987, JSOC was assigned to a new military command called the US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) that came about through the work of Senator William S. Cohen.  Senator Cohen went on to become the Secretary of Defense from 1997 to 2001 and it was he who led the Quadrennial Defense Review of 1997 that reduced the number of fighters actively protecting the continental US from 100 to 14.[19] Cohen is now chairman of The Cohen group, where he works with his Vice Chairman, Marc Grossman, whom FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds says figures prominently in the information she has been trying to provide.

Interestingly, Hugh Shelton was the commander of SOCOM during the same years that Canavan was the commander of JSOC.  Shelton went on to become the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), which is the highest position in the US military.  He was in that position on September 11th and was, like Canavan, curiously absent for just the morning hours on that day.[20]

In any case, it seems odd that Michael Canavan occupied what turned out to be the most important position relative to the failure to intercept the hijacked planes on 9/11 and was also involved in evaluating plans to capture OBL just three years earlier.  Apart from the coincidence that he was selected as the most qualified person for both of those very different positions, he was also a central figure in these two different reasons why the 9/11 attacks were said to have succeeded.

When he first started the job as FAA’s hijack coordinator, just nine months before the attacks, Canavan was in charge of running training exercises that were “pretty damn close to [the] 9/11 plot,” according to John Hawley, an employee in the FAA’s intelligence division.[21] In his comments to the 9/11 Commission, Canavan denied having participated in any such exercises and the Commission apparently didn’t think to reconcile the conflicting comments it had received from Hawley and Canavan on this important issue.

That’s not surprising in light of the fact that Canavan’s treatment by the 9/11 Commission was one of uncritical deference.  Reading through the transcript of the related hearing gives the impression that the Commission members were not only trying to avoid asking the General any difficult questions, but they were fawning over him.

Lee Hamilton began his questioning of Canavan by saying “You’re pretty tough on the airlines, aren’t you?”[22] As with many of the statements and reports made by Hamilton, however, the evidence suggests that the opposite is true.

In May 2001, Canavan wrote an internal FAA memorandum that initiated a new policy of more lax fines for airlines and airports that had security problems.  The memo suggested that, if the airlines or airports had a written plan to fix the problem, fines were not needed.  For whatever reason, the memo was also taken to mean that FAA agents didn’t even have to enforce corrections as long as the airline or airport said they were working on it.  Canavan’s memo was repeatedly cited as a cause of failure to fix security problems in the months leading up to 9/11.[23,24]

Canavan’s job as hijack coordinator was clearly the most important link in the communications chain between the FAA and the military. But the 9/11 Commission did not address this hijack coordinator position in terms of how it was fulfilled on 9/11, and did not mention the alarming fact that we don’t know who actually handled the job of hijack coordinator on the day of 9/11.  We don’t know because Canavan said he was in Puerto Rico that morning and claimed to have missed out on “everything that happened that day.”[25]

Here is Canavan’s exact statement to the Commission, in response to a question from Commissioner Richard Ben-Veniste, whose questions were, like Hamilton’s, rather submissive.

“Here’s my answer — and it’s not to duck the question. Number one, I was visiting the airport in San Juan that day when this happened. That was a CADEX airport, and I was down there also to remove someone down there that was in a key position. So when 9/11 happened, that’s where I was. I was able to get back to Washington that evening on a special flight from the Army back from San Juan, back to Washington.  So everything that transpired that day in terms of times, I have to — and I have no information on that now, because when I got back we weren’t — that wasn’t the issue at the time. We were — when I got back it was, What are we going to do over the next 48 hours to strengthen what just happened?”[26]

One might think that the Commissioners would have expressed surprise at Canavan’s rambling, somewhat incoherent claim that he was just not available during the events of 9/11.  We would certainly expect the Commissioners to have followed up with detailed questions about who was in charge that day with respect to the most important role related to the failed national response.  But that was not the case.  Instead, Ben-Veniste redirected the discussion while “putting aside the issue.”  None of the other Commissioners said a word about Canavan being missing that day or even asked who was filling in for him as the primary contact between the FAA and the military with regard to hijackings.  And, of course, the 9/11 Commission report did not mention any of it at all.

In the interest of finding out what happened we should return to the failure of FAA HQ to request military assistance for Flight 93.  We should ask — what was FAA HQ doing with this information for those 30 minutes in the absence of the one person who was charged to do something about it?  Apparently, for fifteen minutes nothing was done.  But after fifteen minutes, according to the 9/11 Commission report, the conversations were going nowhere.

At 9:49, according to the report, this was the exchange between the FAA Command Center and FAA HQ.

Command Center:  Uh, do we want to think, uh, about scrambling aircraft?

FAA Headquarters:  Oh, God, I don’t know.

Command Center:  Uh, that’s a decision somebody’s gonna have to make probably in the next ten minutes.

FAA Headquarters:  Uh, ya know everybody just left the room.

The Commission report says that ineffectual discussions about scrambling aircraft were still occurring at FAA HQ twenty minutes after it had received notification of the fourth hijacking.

At 9:53 am, “FAA headquarters informed the Command Center that the deputy director for air traffic services was talking to Monte Belger about scrambling aircraft.”

Apart from contradicting Benedict Sliney’s testimony that an FAA request for military assistance “emanates from the effected Center…directly to the military,” this part of the 9/11 Commission report never mentions who the “deputy director for air traffic services” was.  Tape recordings suggest that it was someone named Peter.  This might have been Peter  H. Challan, an engineer who had worked for the FAA since 1969 and had been Deputy Associate Administrator for Air Traffic Services since July 1999.  But the Deputy Director of Air Traffic Services that day was Jeff Griffith.  Monte Belger was the Deputy Administrator for the FAA, second in command to the FAA Administrator, Jane Garvey.  Belger and Griffith later denied they ever had a conversation about scrambling aircraft, despite the 9/11 Commission stating this as fact.

Jane Garvey was also present during the failed response at FAA HQ.  She was the FAA Administrator from 1997 to 2002 and coincidentally, in the years before that, had been the director of Logan International Airport in Boston, where two of the flights took off on 9/11.  Apparently Garvey’s record as director for the Logan airport, which had for many years the worst security record of any major airport, was not a problem for her nomination to the top job at FAA.  It was Garvey who appointed Canavan to his role as Associate Administrator for Civil Aviation Security and, therefore, hijack coordinator.

In any case, in the absence of the hijack coordinator the FAA was completely incompetent in terms of communicating the need to intercept the hijacked planes on 9/11.  Officially, the only notice of the hijackings to the military came directly from the FAA centers, bypassing both the Command Center and FAA HQ.   Boston Center reached the North East Air Defense Sector (NEADS) at 8:37 to request help with the first hijacking, and New York Center notified the military of the second hijacking at 9:03.  NEADS only found about the third hijacking at 9:34 by calling the Washington center to ask about Flight 11, and the military was said to have first learned about the hijacking of Flight 93 from Cleveland Center at 10:07.   Still, none of the planes were intercepted.

9/11 and special operations

Although Michael Canavan was unavailable to perform his critical job function on 9/11, he was fully involved in the response to the attacks.  Just two days later, he attended a “Principals Committee Meeting” chaired by Condoleezza Rice that included all of Bush’s “war cabinet.”[27] This meeting set the stage for how the new War on Terror would be conducted.

Canavan later cashed in on the windfalls of the resulting wars and the privatization of military operations when he hired on at Anteon International Corporation as president of its Information Systems Group.  In doing so he joined a number of prominent defense department alumni, including his former special operations colleague, SOCOM commander and JCS chairman Hugh Shelton, who was on the board of directors at Anteon.

Since 9/11, covert activities have been encouraged at a much higher level but, prior to 9/11, SOCOM was not supposed to conduct covert operations.  Therefore, JSOC worked intimately with the CIA’s clandestine division called the Special Activities Division (SAD).  Canavan led those kinds of operations in northern Iraq, Liberia and Bosnia.  He ran special operations in Croatia in 1996 and, according to President Clinton, was the one who identified Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown’s body after Brown’s plane crashed there.[28]

JSOC regularly works with foreign intelligence agencies, including the Mossad.[29] It has been involved with hijackings, for example that of the Achille Lauro and TWA Flight 847.  It has also operated from bases in foreign countries, such as Saudi Arabia, for many years.[30] Presidential Decision Directive, PDD-25, gave JSOC one of the rare exemptions from the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, which means that JSOC can legally conduct its missions within the US.[31]

In the “War on Terror”, the special mission units of JSOC have been given the authority to pursue secret operations around the world. JSOC effectively operates outside the law, capturing and killing people with or without the knowledge of the host countries in which it operates.  JSOC missions are always low-profile and the US government will not acknowledge any specifics about them.

Reporter Seymour Hersh has reported that the JSOC was under the command of Vice President Dick Cheney after the attacks.[32] Hersh also claimed that the leaders of JSOC “are all members of, or at least supporters of, the Knights of Malta” and that “many of them are members of Opus Dei.”[33] The ties between the Knights of Malta and high-level US intelligence personnel, including William Casey and William Donovan, have been well-documented.[34] Such accusations have also been made of Louis Freeh, who headed the FBI from 1993 to June 2001 and would have worked closely with Canavan and Shelton in the pursuit of special operations targets.

Other special operations leaders who were involved in the lack of response on 9/11 included Richard Armitage, who was present on the Secure Video Teleconference (SVTS) during the attacks.[35] This was the White House meeting chaired by Richard Clarke, which the 9/11 Commission said convened at 9:25 and included leaders of the CIA, the FBI, the FAA, as well as the departments of State, Defense and Justice.   Even with all those leaders in on the call, nothing was done to stop Flight 93 from “crashing” that morning, approximately 40 minutes after the call began.  Instead, we were left completely undefended.

Like Canavan and Shelton, Armitage was involved in special operations in Vietnam and later was reportedly involved in several of the most well-known covert operations in US history, including the Phoenix Program and the Iran-Contra crimes.[36] Although he had spent many years in the Defense department, he was Deputy Secretary of State on 9/11.  After the invasion of Iraq, he was identified as the one who betrayed CIA agent Valerie Plame by revealing her identity, apparently in retaliation for her husband’s attempt to set the record straight on weapons of mass destruction.  Armitage admitted he revealed Plame’s identity but claimed it was done inadvertently.[37]

Another special operations soldier who testified to the 9/11 Commission and played a significant role with regard to the airlines and facilities prior to 9/11 was Brian Michael Jenkins.  While Shelton and Canavan were running SOCOM and JSOC, Jenkins was the deputy chairman of Kroll when that company was designing the security system for the World Trade Center (WTC) complex.[38]

Jenkins was appointed by President Clinton to be a member of the White House Commission on Aviation Safety and Security, where he collaborated with James Abrahamson of WTC security company Stratesec, and FBI director (and alleged Opus Dei member) Louis Freeh. In 1999 and 2000, Jenkins served as an advisor to the National Commission on Terrorism, led by L. Paul Bremer, who went on to be an executive of WTC impact zone tenant, Marsh & McLennan, and then the Iraq occupation governor.  Jenkins returned to the RAND Corporation where he had previously worked with Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, Frank Carlucci of The Carlyle Group, and Paul Kaminski of Anteon.

Lieutenant Colonel John Blitch was yet another special operations soldier who played a big part in the events immediately following 9/11. Blitch spent his career in the US Army’s Special Forces and was said to have retired just the day before 9/11 to become an employee of Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC).   Immediately following the attacks, he was put in charge of the team of robotic machine operators that explored the pile at Ground Zero, using devices that had previously been used for elimination of unexploded ordnance.

 Conclusions

Despite being given plenty of notice about the four planes hijacked on 9/11, FAA management did not request military assistance to ensure the planes were intercepted before they crashed.  The 9/11 Commission attributes this to a string of gross failures in communication between the FAA and the military on 9/11.  However, the report places no blame on any of the people who were involved and doesn’t even mention the one person who was most important to this chain of communications.

One of the most important people involved was Benedict Sliney, who had, just before 9/11, left a lucrative law career defending Wall Street financiers to return to work as a specialist at the FAA.  It was his first day on the job.  With regard to ensuring military interception of the hijacked planes, he said he did not receive a “request to authorize a request.”  Sliney also claimed to not know that FAA management at the Command Center, where he was in charge, or FAA HQ, had any role in requests for military assistance.   This is in contradiction to the stated protocol in the 9/11 Commission report and also the idea of an FAA “hijack coordinator.”

The FAA hijack coordinator was Michael Canavan, a career special operations commander who had come to the civilian FAA job only nine months before 9/11.  According to an FAA intelligence agent, one of the first things Canavan did in that job was lead and participate in exercises that were “pretty damn close to the 9/11 plot.”  He was also known within the FAA for writing a memo just a few months before 9/11 that instituted a new leniency with regard to airport and airline security.

With regard to the communication failures, Canavan offered the unsolicited excuse that he was absent during the morning hours of 9/11, in Puerto Rico.  The 9/11 Commission did not pursue this excuse nor did it ask who was filling the critical hijack coordinator role in Canavan’s absence.  In fact, the 9/11 Commission report didn’t address the hijack coordinator role at all.  The report mentioned Sliney only once in the entire narrative and did not refer to Canavan in his role as hijack coordinator.

When a new, honest investigation is finally convened, it should look into why a lawyer, who knew how to handle evidence and get financiers off the hook, was experiencing his first day on the job as national operation manager at the FAA.  And If 9/11 was a “special operation” as many people now suspect, that investigation might consider that a number of special operations specialists were in place to ensure that the operation went off without a hitch and was not discovered.  Long-time special operations leaders like Michael Canavan, Hugh Shelton, Brian Michael Jenkins, and Richard Armitage played critical parts with respect to the facilities, events, and official story of 9/11.  These facts seem worth investigating.

References

[1] The 9/11 Commission Report, page 14

[2] The 9/11 Commission report, pages 17 to 18

[3] The 9/11 Commission report, page 34

[4] Ibid

[5] Matthew Goldstein, When Bad Scams Go Good, The Wall Street Journal, May 21, 2001,http://www.smartmoney.com/investing/stocks/when-bad-scams-go-good-10573/

[6] NASD Regulation, Inc. Office of Dispute Resolution, Arbitration No. 9644952

[7] Westlaw citation WL 31426028, United States District Court, S.D. New York, No. 00 CR 91-11 RWS, Oct. 28, 2002

[8] United States District Court, E.D. New York, 103 F.Supp.2d 579, Downes v. O’Connell, 103 F.Supp.2d 579 (2000)

[9]  Lynn Spencer, Touching History: The Untold Story of the Drama That Unfolded in the Skies Over America on 9/11, Free Press, 2008, page 2

[10]  9/11 Commisison memorandum for the record, Interview with Benedict Sliney, May 21, 2004

[11]  History Commons 9/11 Timeline page for John Czabaranek, http://www.historycommons.org/entity.jsp?entity=john_czabaranek_1

[12]  Matthew Everett, The Repeatedly Delayed Responses of the Pentagon Command Center on 9/11, 911blogger.com, November 7, 2010, http://911blogger.com/news/2010-11-07/repeatedly-delayed-responses-pentagon-command-center-911

[13]  History Commons 9/11 Timeline page for Monty Belger, http://www.historycommons.org/entity.jsp?entity=monty_belger

[14]  9/11 Commisison memorandum for the record, Interview with Benedict Sliney, May 21, 2004

[15]  History Commons 9/11 Timeline page for Ben Sliney, http://www.historycommons.org/entity.jsp?entity=ben_sliney

[16] The 9/11 Commission report, page 113

[17] Peter Dale Scott, American War Machine, Rowan & Littlefield, 2010

[18] Harvey M. Sapolsky, Benjamin H. Friedman, Brendan Rittenhouse Green, US military innovation since the Cold War: creation without destruction, Taylor & Francis Publishers, 2009

[19] History Commons 9/11 Timeline profile for William S. Cohen, http://www.historycommons.org/entity.jsp?entity=william_s._cohen

[20] History Commons 9/11 Timeline profile for Henry Hugh Shelton, http://www.historycommons.org/entity.jsp?entity=henry_h._shelton

[21] 9/11 Commission Memorandum for the Record (MFR) on John Hawley interview, October 8, 2003, http://media.nara.gov/9-11/MFR/t-0148-911MFR-00608.pdf

[22] Transcript of 9/11 Commission public hearing of May 23, 2003, 9/11 Commission Archive, http://www.9-11commission.gov/archive/hearing2/9-11Commission_Hearing_2003-05-23.htm

[23] Andrew R. Thomas, Aviation Security Management: Volume 1, Greenwood Publishing Group, page 78,http://terrortalk.org/myfiles/Terrorism%20Books/Aviation%20Security%20Management.pdf

[24] Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, FAA Culture of Bureaucracy Stymies Security Reform Efforts, Critics Say, Los Angeles

[25] History Commons 9/11 Timeline profile for Mike Canavan, http://www.historycommons.org/entity.jsp?entity=mike_canavan#a830faahijackcoordinator

[26] Interview of Michael Canavan, 9/11 Commission Public Hearing, May 23, 2003, http://www.9-11commission.gov/archive/hearing2/9-11Commission_Hearing_2003-05-23.htm

[27] 9/11 Commission Report, footnote 36 to Chapter 10

[28] White House press briefing by Leon Panetta, January 10, 1996

[29] Gordon Thomas, Gideon’s Spies: The Secret History of the Mossad, Thomas Dunne Books, 1995, pp 309-310

[30] John T. Carney, Benjamin F. Schemmer, No Room for Error: The Story Behind the USAF Special Tactics Unit, Presido Press, 2002, p 232

[31] Graeme C. S. Steven, Rohan Gunaratna, Counterterrorism: a reference handbook, ABC-CLIO, 2004, p 230

[32] Abbas Al Lawati, ‘You can’t authorise murder’: Hersh, Gulf News, May 12, 2009, http://gulfnews.com/news/region/palestinian-territories/you-can-t-authorise-murder-hersh-1.68504

[33] Blake Hounshell, Seymour Hersh unleashed, Foreign Policy, January 18, 2011,http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/01/18/seymour_hersh_unleashed

[34] Matthew Phelan, Pulitzer Prize Winner Seymour Hersh And The Men Who Want Him Committed, WhoWhatWhy.com, Feb 23, 2011,http://whowhatwhy.com/2011/02/23/pulitzer-prize-winner-seymour-hersh-and-the-men-who-want-him-committed/

[35] Summary of 9/11 Commission interview with John Flaherty, Chief of Staff for Secretary of Transportation, Norman Mineta, April 2004

[36] Spartacus Educational webpage for Richard Armitage, http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKarmitage.htm

[37] CNN Politics, Armitage admits leaking Plame’s identity, September 08, 2006, http://articles.cnn.com/2006-09-08/politics/leak.armitage_1_novak-and-other-journalists-cia-officer-valerie-plame-patrick-fitzgerald?_s=PM:POLITICS

[38] Kevin R. Ryan, Demolition Access To The WTC Towers: Part Two – Security, 911Review.com, August 22, 2009,http://911review.com/articles/ryan/demolition_access_p2.html

Change, Obushbama style


Barack Obama: The new ‘W’

by Steven Thomma, AZ Republic

He ran as the anti-Bush. Silver-tongued, not tongue-tied. A team player on the
world stage, not a lone cowboy. A man who’d put a stop to reckless Bush policies
at home and abroad. In short, Barack Obama represented Change. Well, that was
then. Now, on one major policy after another, President Obama seems to be
morphing into George W. Bush.

On the nation’s finances, the man who once ripped Bush as a failed leader for
seeking to raise the nation’s debt ceiling now wants to do it himself.

On terrorism, he criticized Bush for sending suspected terrorists to Guantanamo
Bay, Cuba, and denying them access to U.S. civilian courts. Now he says he’ll do
the same.

On taxes, he called the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy wrong, and lately
began calling again to end them. But in December he signed a deal with
Republicans to extend them for two years, and recently he called the entire
tax-cut package good for the country.

And on war, as a candidate he said that the president didn’t have authority to
unilaterally attack a country that didn’t pose an imminent threat to the U.S.,
and even then the president should always seek the informed consent of Congress.
Last month, without a vote in Congress, he attacked Libya, which didn’t threaten
the U.S.

Big differences remain between Obama and Bush, to be sure. His two nominees to
the Supreme Court differ vastly from Bush’s picks. Obama does want to end the
tax cuts for the wealthy. He also pushed through a massive overhaul of the
nation’s health-insurance system.

Yet even on health insurance, his stand wasn’t so much a reversal of Bush’s
approach as an escalation. Bush also pushed through a massive expansion of
Medicare by adding a costly prescription-drug benefit – at the time, the biggest
expansion of a federal entitlement since Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society. Indeed,
some of the differences between the two presidents are measured in gray, not
black and white as once seemed the case.

Some of the changes in Obama can be attributed to the passion of campaign
rhetoric giving way to the realities of governing, analysts say.

“He has discovered that it’s much easier to make promises on the campaign trail
than it is to keep them as president,” said Dan Schnur, the director of the
Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at the University of Southern California.

At the same time, some of the surprising continuity of Bush-era policies can be
tied to the way Bush and events set the nation’s course, particularly on foreign
policy.

For example, Obama found he couldn’t easily close the prison at Guantanamo Bay
because he couldn’t find a place, abroad or at home, willing to take all the
terrorist suspects held there.

Among the ways Obama has reversed his earlier promises and adopted, extended or
echoed Bush policies:
Debt

In 2006, Bush had cut taxes, gone to war and expanded Medicare, and increased
the national debt from $5.6 trillion to $8.2 trillion. He needed approval from
Congress to raise the ceiling for debt to $9 trillion.

The Senate approved the increase by a narrow vote of 52-48.

Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., voted no.

“Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally,” Obama
said in 2006. “Leadership means that the buck stops here. Instead, Washington is
shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and
grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership.”

Now, Obama’s on the other side. He’s increased the national debt to $14
trillion, and he needs Congress to approve more debt. Moreover, Obama’s aides
now say that congressional meddling to use that needed vote to wrangle budget
concessions from the White House would be inappropriate and risk financial
Armageddon.

What about Obama’s own vote against the president in a similar situation? A
mistake, the White House said.
Taxes

As a senator and presidential candidate, Obama opposed extending the Bush tax
cuts on household incomes greater than $250,000 a year past their expiration on
Dec. 31, 2009.

In 2007, he said he was for “rolling back the Bush tax cuts on the top 1 percent
of people, who don’t need it.” In a 2008 ad, he said, “Instead of extending the
Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest, I’ll focus on you.”

As president, Obama proposed letting those tax cuts expire as scheduled, while
also proposing to make permanent the Bush tax cuts for incomes of less than
$250,000 for a household and $200,000 for an individual.

But he didn’t get Congress to approve that. When the issue came to a head last
December, Republicans insisted on extending all of the tax cuts or none, and
Obama went along lest the tax cuts on incomes below $250,000 expire even
briefly. His final deal with Congress also added a one-year cut in the payroll
tax for Medicare and Social Security.

“What all of us care about is growing the American economy and creating jobs for
the American people,” Obama said. “Taken as a whole, that’s what this package of
tax relief is going to do. It’s a good deal for the American people.”

He said again recently that he wants to let the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy
expire, this time on Dec. 31, 2012.
Terrorists

As a presidential candidate, Obama vowed a broad reversal of Bush’s policies
toward suspected terrorists.

Most pointedly, he said he’d close the prison in Cuba and try suspected
terrorists in civilian courts, not in military tribunals.

Last month, he changed course, saying he’d keep Guantanamo Bay open and would
try accused Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed before a military court.

The reversal, said Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., the chairman of the House Committee
on Homeland Security, “is yet another vindication of President Bush’s detention
policies by the Obama administration.”

Echoing Bush, Obama has also asserted that he has the power to hold suspected
terrorists without charges or trial and that he has the power to kill U.S.
citizens abroad if his government considers them a terrorist threat.
War powers

During his campaign, Obama signaled that he’d be far more circumspect than Bush
was in using military power. He did say he’d send more troops to Afghanistan,
which he’s done, and that he’d attack al-Qaida terrorists in Pakistan, which
he’s also done.

But he opposed the Iraq war from the start and said he didn’t think the
president should wage war for humanitarian purposes or act without congressional
approval, absent an imminent threat to the U.S.

“The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally
authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an
actual or imminent threat to the nation,” he told the Boston Globe in 2007.

“In instances of self-defense, the president would be within his constitutional
authority to act before advising Congress or seeking its consent. History has
shown us time and again, however, that military action is most successful when
it is authorized and supported by the legislative branch. It is always
preferable to have the informed consent of Congress prior to any military
action.”

On March 19, the U.S. attacked Libya on humanitarian grounds, absent any threat
to the U.S. and without approval from Congress.

Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/viewpoints/articles/2011/04/
23/20110423obama-thomma.html#ixzz1KSNaqqbW

Secret memos expose link between oil firms and invasion of Iraq

Independent.co.uk

Secret memos expose link between oil firms and invasion of Iraq

By Paul Bignell
Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Plans to exploit Iraq’s oil reserves were discussed by government ministers and the world’s largest oil companies the year before Britain took a leading role in invading Iraq, government documents show.

Graphic: Iraq’s burgeoning oil industry

The papers, revealed here for the first time, raise new questions over Britain’s involvement in the war, which had divided Tony Blair’s cabinet and was voted through only after his claims that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

The minutes of a series of meetings between ministers and senior oil executives are at odds with the public denials of self-interest from oil companies and Western governments at the time.

The documents were not offered as evidence in the ongoing Chilcot Inquiry into the UK’s involvement in the Iraq war. In March 2003, just before Britain went to war, Shell denounced reports that it had held talks with Downing Street about Iraqi oil as “highly inaccurate”. BP denied that it had any “strategic interest” in Iraq, while Tony Blair described “the oil conspiracy theory” as “the most absurd”.

But documents from October and November the previous year paint a very different picture.

Five months before the March 2003 invasion, Baroness Symons, then the Trade Minister, told BP that the Government believed British energy firms should be given a share of Iraq’s enormous oil and gas reserves as a reward for Tony Blair’s military commitment to US plans for regime change.

The papers show that Lady Symons agreed to lobby the Bush administration on BP’s behalf because the oil giant feared it was being “locked out” of deals that Washington was quietly striking with US, French and Russian governments and their energy firms.

Minutes of a meeting with BP, Shell and BG (formerly British Gas) on 31 October 2002 read: “Baroness Symons agreed that it would be difficult to justify British companies losing out in Iraq in that way if the UK had itself been a conspicuous supporter of the US government throughout the crisis.”

The minister then promised to “report back to the companies before Christmas” on her lobbying efforts.

The Foreign Office invited BP in on 6 November 2002 to talk about opportunities in Iraq “post regime change”. Its minutes state: “Iraq is the big oil prospect. BP is desperate to get in there and anxious that political deals should not deny them the opportunity.”

After another meeting, this one in October 2002, the Foreign Office’s Middle East director at the time, Edward Chaplin, noted: “Shell and BP could not afford not to have a stake in [Iraq] for the sake of their long-term future… We were determined to get a fair slice of the action for UK companies in a post-Saddam Iraq.”

Whereas BP was insisting in public that it had “no strategic interest” in Iraq, in private it told the Foreign Office that Iraq was “more important than anything we’ve seen for a long time”.

BP was concerned that if Washington allowed TotalFinaElf’s existing contact with Saddam Hussein to stand after the invasion it would make the French conglomerate the world’s leading oil company. BP told the Government it was willing to take “big risks” to get a share of the Iraqi reserves, the second largest in the world.

Over 1,000 documents were obtained under Freedom of Information over five years by the oil campaigner Greg Muttitt. They reveal that at least five meetings were held between civil servants, ministers and BP and Shell in late 2002.

The 20-year contracts signed in the wake of the invasion were the largest in the history of the oil industry. They covered half of Iraq’s reserves – 60 billion barrels of oil, bought up by companies such as BP and CNPC (China National Petroleum Company), whose joint consortium alone stands to make £403m ($658m) profit per year from the Rumaila field in southern Iraq.

Last week, Iraq raised its oil output to the highest level for almost decade, 2.7 million barrels a day – seen as especially important at the moment given the regional volatility and loss of Libyan output. Many opponents of the war suspected that one of Washington’s main ambitions in invading Iraq was to secure a cheap and plentiful source of oil.

Mr Muttitt, whose book Fuel on the Fire is published next week, said: “Before the war, the Government went to great lengths to insist it had no interest in Iraq’s oil. These documents provide the evidence that give the lie to those claims.

“We see that oil was in fact one of the Government’s most important strategic considerations, and it secretly colluded with oil companies to give them access to that huge prize.”

Lady Symons, 59, later took up an advisory post with a UK merchant bank that cashed in on post-war Iraq reconstruction contracts. Last month she severed links as an unpaid adviser to Libya’s National Economic Development Board after Colonel Gaddafi started firing on protesters. Last night, BP and Shell declined to comment.

www.fuelonthefire.com

Not about oil? what they said before the invasion

* Foreign Office memorandum, 13 November 2002, following meeting with BP: “Iraq is the big oil prospect. BP are desperate to get in there and anxious that political deals should not deny them the opportunity to compete. The long-term potential is enormous…”

* Tony Blair, 6 February 2003: “Let me just deal with the oil thing because… the oil conspiracy theory is honestly one of the most absurd when you analyse it. The fact is that, if the oil that Iraq has were our concern, I mean we could probably cut a deal with Saddam tomorrow in relation to the oil. It’s not the oil that is the issue, it is the weapons…”

* BP, 12 March 2003: “We have no strategic interest in Iraq. If whoever comes to power wants Western involvement post the war, if there is a war, all we have ever said is that it should be on a level playing field. We are certainly not pushing for involvement.”

* Lord Browne, the then-BP chief executive, 12 March 2003: “It is not in my or BP’s opinion, a war about oil. Iraq is an important producer, but it must decide what to do with its patrimony and oil.”

* Shell, 12 March 2003, said reports that it had discussed oil opportunities with Downing Street were ‘highly inaccurate’, adding: “We have neither sought nor attended meetings with officials in the UK Government on the subject of Iraq. The subject has only come up during conversations during normal meetings we attend from time to time with officials… We have never asked for ‘contracts’.”

www.fuelonthefire.com

Was JFK Killed Because of His Interest in Aliens? Secret Memo Shows President Demanded UFO Files 10 Days Before Death


The Daily Mail, UK
An uncovered letter written by John F Kennedy to the head of the CIA shows that the president demanded to be shown highly confidential documents about UFOs 10 days before his assassination.

The secret memo is one of two letters written by JFK asking for information about the paranormal on November 12 1963, which have been released by the CIA for the first time.

Author William Lester said the CIA released the documents to him under the Freedom of Information Act after he made a request while researching his new book A Celebration of Freedom: JFK and the New Frontier.

© unknown
Assassination: Was JFK shot to stop him discovering the truth about UFOs?

The president’s interest in UFOs shortly before his death is likely to fuel conspiracy theories about his assassination, according to AOL News.

Alien researchers say the latest documents, released to Mr Lester by the CIA, add weight to the suggestion that the president could have been shot to stop him discovering the truth about UFOs.

In one of the secret documents released under the Freedom of Information Act, JFK writes to the director asking for the UFO files.

Released: Letter from JFK to CIA director asking for access to UFO files, which has been released to an author under the Freedom of Information Act

In the second memo, sent to the NASA administrator, the president expresses a desire for cooperation with the former Soviet Union on mutual outer space activities.

The previously classified documents were released under the Freedom of Information Act to teacher William Lester as part of research for a new book about JFK.

He said that JFK’s interest in UFOs could have been fuelled by concerns about relations with the former Soviet Union.

© Getty Images
Beam me up: Days before he was killed, JFK wrote to the CIA demanding access to their files about UFOs

Unclassified: A second memo written by JFK on November 12 1963, 10 days before his assassination, which has been released by the CIA

‘One of his concerns was that a lot of these UFOs were being seen over the Soviet Union and he was very concerned that the Soviets might misinterpret these UFOs as U.S. aggression, believing that it was some of our technology,’ Mr Lester told AOL News.

‘I think this is one of the reasons why he wanted to get his hands on this information and get it away from the jurisdiction of NASA so he could say to the Soviets, “Look, that’s not us, we’re not doing it, we’re not being provocative. “.’

But conspiracy theorists said the documents add interest to a disputed file, nicknamed the ‘burned memo’, which a UFO investigator claims he received in the 1990s.

The document, which has scorch marks, is claimed to have been posted to UFO hunter Timothy Cooper in 1999 by an unknown CIA leak, but has never been verified.

© Reuters
Disputed: In the ‘burned memo’ the CIA director allegedly wrote: ‘Lancer [JFK] has made some inquiries regarding our activities, which we cannot allow’

In a note sent with the document, the apparent leaker said he worked for CIA between 1960 and 1974 and pulled the memo from a fire when the agency was burning some of its most sensitive files.

The undated memo contains a reference to ‘Lancer’, which was JFK’s Secret Service code name.

On the first page, the director of Central Intelligence wrote: ‘As you must know, Lancer has made some inquiries regarding our activities, which we cannot allow.

‘Please submit your views no later than October. Your action to this matter is critical to the continuance of the group.’

The current owner of the ‘burned memo’, who bought it from Timothy Cooper in 2001 told AOL News that it shows that when JFK asked questions about UFOs that the CIA ‘bumped him off’.

UFO investigator Robert Wood said he has tested the paper it was printed on, the ink age, watermarks, font types and other markings.

He said: ‘I hired a forensics company to check the age of the ink and check several other things that you can date, using the same techniques you’d use in a court of law.’

Obama on Bradley Manning: “He broke the law”

Following a fundraising speech on Thursday, President Obama was asked about the case of whistleblower Bradley Manning.

He responded, “I can’t conduct diplomacy on an open source. That’s not how…the world works. If you’re in the military, and — I have to abide by certain classified information. If I was to release stuff that I’m not authorized to release, I’m breaking the law…We’re a nation of laws. We don’t individually make our own decisions about how the laws operate… He broke the law.”

Obama’s assumption that Manning is guilty prior to any trial is already drawing legal fire. The hacker group Anonymous was quick to tweet the news. And the blog Firedoglake, which has been sharply critical of Obama, compared it to Richard Nixon’s premature assertion of Charles Manson’s guilt.

Obama may have been on the defensive concerning Manning, since his remarks followed anincident where a group of protesters had showed up at a fundraiser to sing him a song about Manning’s plight.

This video was uploaded to YouTube on April 21, 2011.

Obama: Yes for Predator drones in Libya



Photobucket

Obama: Yes for Predator drones in Libya.

According to the Washington Times “terrorism scholars think Osama bin Laden” is “likeliest to be” in “mountainous regions” of Pakistan. This dubious speculation is part of the false “justification” for drone attacks on Pakistan.

Now President Barack Obama has sanctioned Defense Secretary Robert Gates to authorize the use Predator drones in Libya.

It is a fact that the drone operations in Pakistan and Afghanistan are headed and controlled by the CIA. An important and less reported aspect of these drone attacks is that the CIA relies on the private military/mercenary company Blackwater/Xe for its drone operations in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The act of using drone attacks in the “humanitarian” war in Libya is an admission by the US Administration that it is subservient to the goals of the CIA and the private mercenary company Blackwater/Xe.

The United States government, led by the CIA has attacked northwest Pakistan using drones since 2004. Estimated killed in these CIA unmanned drone attacks is between 1,435 and 2,283 as of March 17, 2011.

According to a report by Conflict Monitoring Center (CMC) more than 2000 persons have been killed by CIA unmanned drone attacks and most of those deaths are of innocent civilians. CMC showed that 2010 was the deadliest year ever of causalities resulting from drone attacks, with 134 strikes inflicting over 900 deaths.

How is it possible that President Barack Obama could condone the use of drones in Libya with the doublethink excuse of “precision capability”?

Libya: US to deploy armed drones – 22 April 2011

The BBC reports…..

Armed US Predator drones are to carry out missions over Libya, Defence Secretary Robert Gates has said.

Mr Gates said their use had been authorised by President Barack Obama and would give “precision capability” to the military operation.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-13166441

Pakistan: US drone raid ‘kills 25’ in N Waziristan – 22 April 2011

The BBC reports…..

At least 25 people have been killed in a US drone strike in the troubled Pakistani tribal region of North Waziristan, officials told the BBC.

Missiles were fired on a large compound in the town of Spinwam, but five women and four children in a nearby house were also killed.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-13167425

U.S. still has options for drones if denied use of Pakistani bases – 20 April 2011

The Washington Times reports…..

U.S. military forces will still be able to target al Qaeda terrorists in mountainous Southwest Asia with remotely piloted drones based in Afghanistan should Pakistan’s government deny the use of its territory to launch attacks.

Col. Dean Bushey, deputy director of the Army’s Joint Unmanned Aircraft Systems Center of Excellence, told an international-relations conference Wednesday that U.S. Reaper and Predator aircraft could still reach the “mountainous regions” of Pakistan without being based in that country.

In a subsequent interview with The Washington Times, he elaborated that “mountainous regions” referred to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan, effectively a no man’s land and the place terrorism scholars think Osama bin Laden is likeliest to be.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/apr/20/us-still-has-options-for…

Afghanistan: Drone missile ‘killed two US soldiers’

The BBC reports….

A drone missile strike is suspected of killing two US soldiers by mistake in southern Afghanistan last week, US military officials have said.

US drones frequently target suspected militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-13046183

Pakistan warns US ‘to restrict CIA activities’

The BBC reports…..

Pakistan has asked the US to reduce the number of CIA agents in the country and to limit drone strikes along the Afghan border, US media reports say.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-13046012

C.I.A. Said to Use Outsiders to Put Bombs on Drones

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/21/us/21intel.html

Note: Court documents made public reveal that Blackwater/Xe has violated US federal law 288 times. Blackwater/Xe has been shown to obstruct federal investigations into their activities, making numerous false statements to federal authorities including the State Department. In Iraq, the company diverted weapons intended for the U.S. military to the company’s own private contracts.

On September 16, 2007, Blackwater contractors shot and killed 17 Iraqi civilians in Nisoor Square, Baghdad. US military reports indicate that the US contractors opened fire without provocation and used excessive force. Videotape also shows the Blackwater contractors opening fire against civilians without provocation. The Blackwater employees responsible for the shootings never received sentences for their actions and were granted immunity by the Bush administration’s Justice Department.