The U.S. and Its Allies Had Contact with Bin Laden and the 9/11 Hijackers Many Times Before 9/11

 

Including a Direct Contact with Bin Laden by an FBI Resource In 1993

The report that the FBI had a human resource in direct contact with Bin Laden in 1993 – and covered it up and hid it from the 9/11 Commission and Congress – is newsworthy.  See Washington Times’ report and NBC News coverage.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg:

  • The mainstream French paper Le Figaro alleged that the CIA met with Bin Laden himself 2 months before 9/11
  • A high-level military intelligence officer says that his unit – tasked with tracking Bin Laden prior to 9/11 – was pulled off the task, and their warnings that the World Trade Center and Pentagon were being targeted were ignored
  • The National Security Agency and the FBI were each independently listening in on the phone calls between the supposed mastermind of the attacks and the lead hijacker. Indeed, the FBI built its own antenna in Madagascar specifically to listen in on the mastermind’s phone calls
  • According to various sources, on the day before 9/11, the mastermind told the lead hijacker “tomorrow is zero hour” and gave final approval for the attacks. The NSA intercepted the message that day and the FBI was likely also monitoring the mastermind’s phone calls
  • According to the Sunday Herald, two days before 9/11, Bin Laden called his stepmother and told her “In two days, you’re going to hear big news and you’re not going to hear from me for a while.” U.S. officials later told CNN that “in recent years they’ve been able to monitor some of bin Laden’s telephone communications with his [step]mother. Bin Laden at the time was using a satellite telephone, and the signals were intercepted and sometimes recorded.” Indeed, before 9/11, to impress important visitors, NSA analysts would occasionally play audio tapes of bin Laden talking to his stepmother.
  • And according to CBS News, at 9:53 a.m on 9/11, just 15 minutes after the hijacked plane had hit the Pentagon, “the National Security Agency, which monitors communications worldwide, intercepted a phone call from one of Osama bin Laden’s operatives in Afghanistan to a phone number in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia”, and secretary of Defense Rumsfeld learned about the intercepted phone call in real-time (if the NSA monitored and transcribed phone calls in real-time on 9/11, that implies that it did so in the months leading up to 9/11 as well)

Indeed, former counter-terrorism boss Richard Clarke theorizes that top CIA brass tried to recruit the hijackers and turn them to our side, but were unsuccessful. And – when they realized had failed – they covered up their tracks so that the FBI would not investigate their illegal CIA activities , “malfeasance and misfeasance”, on U.S. soil.

And former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds – deemed credible by the Department of Justice’s Inspector General, several senators (free subscription required), and a coalition of prominent conservative and liberal groups –  alleges that the U.S. worked with Bin Laden right up to 9/11 … and for months afterwards.

Whether or not she’s right, it’s indisputable that 9/11 was entirely foreseeable … as was Al Qaeda flying airplanes into the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

As is the fact that the U.S. has backed the world’s most dangerous and radical Muslim terrorists for decades.

Video

1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bl634eS_Lk

2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQbm9N3B3cI

 

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William Pepper, Attorney at Law, Pursuing NIST

 

Written by Dennis P. McMahon, Esq.

Investigation Demanded Based on FOIA Release Info

 On behalf of Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth, esteemed human rights attorney William F. Pepper has written to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) demanding that the National Institute of Standards and Technology (“NIST,” a non-regulatory agency within the Commerce Department), for which OIG has oversight responsibility, “be directed to produce a corrected analysis and report on the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7.”

The demand was triggered by the discovery that the official steel fabrication drawings of Building 7’s construction, released in response to a FOIA request, reveal critical structural features that were inexplicably missing from consideration in the NIST report on the collapse of Building 7. Specifically, as explained in the recent article “MaladmiNISTration” by David Cole, upon close examination of the depiction, in Frankel shop drawing #9114, of the connection between Column 79 and the adjacent girder–a connection that NIST claimed had failed–one can see another steel element in the drawing that NIST had never mentioned, i.e. “stiffener plates,” that were specified at the end of the girder and welded in place to both sides of the web and to the bottom flange.

Read More:
http://www.ae911truth.org/en/news-section/41-articles/855-william-pepper-attorney-at-law-pursuing-nist-via-oig-re-fraudule…

 

The Sound of Silence in Academia Connected to 9/11

Independent German financial journalist Lars Schall talked with Adnan Zuberi, the director / producer of the documentary movie “9/11 in the Academic Community.“ Zuberi says: “Critical perspectives on 9/11 are systematically excluded from universities.”

 

By Lars Schall

Praise for “9/11 in the Academic Community“:

“I hope that this material will be made available to the wider international academic community in order to foster a wider, fact-based discussion among researchers and students alike.”

Friedrich Steinhäusler
Professor of Physics at Salzburg University
Former Co-Director of the NATO ARW on Catastrophic Terrorism
Past Chairman, US/German Transatlantic Expert Group on Terrorism

“This documentary confronts the academy’s uncritical response to the defining event of our times. It is an essential viewing for everyone in academe.”

Lance deHaven-Smith
Professor of Public Administration and Policy at Florida State University
Former President of the Florida Political Science Association

“Academic freedom protects scholars who report inconvenient truths from the uninformed, but, as Adnan Zuberi reminds us, academic freedom is also the responsibility of scholars to pursue the truth.”

Dr. Roger W. Bowen
Served as General Secretary of the American Association of University Professors,
Professor of Political Science and President of the State University of New York.

“9/11 in the Academic Community”, awarded for “Documentary Achievement” at the University of Toronto Film Festival, can be ordered through its website. “9/11 in the Academic Community” takes a critical look at the academic community’s treatment of critical perspectives on 9/11 by exploring the taboo that shields the American government’s narrative from scholarly examination. Its director / producer Adnan Zuberi is 26 years old and graduated from the University of Toronto and the University of Waterloo (theoretical physics). He lives as an independent filmmaker in Toronto, Canada.

Preview: 9/11 in the Academic Community

Lars Schall: Why did you become interested in the topic of 9/11 in general?

Adnan Zuberi: Of the many ways I became interested, I was most interested in academia’s treatment of critical perspectives on 9/11. During my time as a university student, I noticed that there was a much larger picture that required intellectual attention. For example, Maj. Gen. Mark O. Schissler, who served as the Pentagon’s Deputy Director for the War on Terrorism, said to the Washington Times that this War on Terror is a generational war that will last 50 to 100 years. Schissler emphasized that politics should not interfere with this and the public needs to be committed to this long-duration war. (1) I became interested in documenting how many professors are harsh critics of various aspects of the War on Terror but most unusually, they accept without any critical examination, the narrative serving as the foundation for this war. No thinking person would ever commit to a vague 100 year war, or even a 5 year war, without examining its foundation. More importantly, how can one conclude that the War on Terror will last this long? As to how they arrived at these large numbers is itself suspicious as they indicate more of a geostrategic plan for expanding an empire for this century in view of scare resources and competing regional powers. How can professors not question the foundation of such a suspicious long-duration war? So I began studying the mechanisms that structure intellectual thinking in this manner, exploring the nature and dimensions of the taboo surrounding critical perspectives on 9/11 within universities.

LS: Why did you develop an interest in the specific topic regarding 9/11 that your movie is dedicated to?

AZ: To expand on my answer above, I became interested and astonished at the specific ways in which the taboo against a critical examination of 9/11 works within academic institutions. I began documenting the phenomena in my film. If a professor verbally expressed his or her view that the events of 9/11 require a critical examination as to whether they serve as a justification for this generational War on Terror, the professor would incur social punishments from the university community. Additionally, local politicians would denounce the professor and in one stance, the political community threatened the funding of a university if it didn’t fire the professor. Universities have to make difficult alliances with the government.

Since verbal expression didn’t work, the film documents how professors then pursued the scholarly practice of engaging in a rigorous gathering and presentation of facts in a paper submitted to a peer-reviewed journal. Despite the attitudes of journal editors serving as a barrier, there are over twenty peer-reviewed papers published in the humanities, social sciences, physical sciences and engineering. All of these papers have major implications as they show the official narrative of 9/11, as told to use by the Bush Administration, does not meet scholarly expectations. (2) And most interestingly, there is no response to or discussion of these papers within the larger academic community. These documentations show how critical perspectives on 9/11 are systematically excluded from universities.

Universities should be concerned about how the 9/11 narrative’s construction exemplifies anti-scholarship. For example, the crux of the official 9/11 Commission Report, which concerns how these alleged hijackers organized, was entirely derived from torture testimony. The CIA tortured Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), over 180 times in one month. KSM later said that he made up a story in trying to escape the torture and the CIA also destroyed many of the tape recording crucial to the 9/11 narrative. So they based a story of that fateful day around on such testimony that is used to change domestic and foreign policy around the world in the worst of ways.

LS: How did you choose your interviewees?

AZ: As the film’s focus was on academia’s treatment of critical perspectives on 9/11, I chose to interview professors who have published papers or taught official courses on this subject from this particular angle. I also pursued other professors who felt that there is nothing wrong with the academic community’s discourse on 9/11. They politely declined because they felt the film’s focus was not within their expertise. However, I am happy to report that many of the professors who declined to be interviewed did watch the film and are now very supportive.

LS: What did you learn by producing that movie?

AZ: I learned that the film has an extraordinary potential in rationally persuading the academic community to seriously reflect on the intellectual discourse on 9/11 and the War on Terror.

In terms of approach, I departed from all activists in the movement towards an honest investigation of the events of that fateful day. For example, if there was an environmental hazard (i.e., industrial pollution hurting wildlife) occurring across the nation, many people may attempt to resolve this by gathering into groups that would directly speak or write to politicians, media personalities, and so forth. However, there wasn’t much of a change in the approach of activists who were tackling the subject of investigating 9/11 which was different by several orders of magnitude than say, an environmental issue, in terms of its political implications. There was a series of communication failures among activists as traditional methods were failing and this can be probably attributed to an absence in formal training in the educational curriculum. Students around the world, whether young or old, are taught about the countless dates and events of how the Nazis committed horrific crimes, but students are not taught how to formally detect, organize, and prevent radical parties that may jeopardize the nation. Such topics are orders of magnitude above average issues (i.e., economy and healthcare) that dominate daily discourse.

In recognizing this, I learned that taboo subjects cannot be discussed directly and publicly with people, especially professors. The art of communicating taboos, that have unprecedented political ramifications, is essentially through private methods that promotes a comfortable atmosphere that protects the identity and views of people holding important positions in society. As a result, I have been able to engage intellectuals that would otherwise never respond to civil society’s concerns about deeply important issues. The film has received positive and supportive reviews from several academics, some at very high levels, including a former President of the State University of New York, an Officer of the Order of Canada and award-winning former Director of the CBC (the Canadian crown corporation broadcasting national public radio and television), and a former Director of the NATO Advanced Research on Catastrophic Terrorism. The film is also making its way into curriculum, as students in university classes are very supportive of the film.

LS: One academic whose views on 9/11 are widely discussed in the internet is Noam Chomsky. Your take?

AZ: Professor Noam Chomsky wrote in his book, 9-11, an international best-seller, “… evidence about the perpetrators of 9-11 has been hard to find…. Nevertheless, despite the thin evidence, the initial conclusion about 9-11 is presumably correct.” (3) This phenomena, where professors “presume” something to be true despite evidence to the contrary or without sincerely investigating evidence to the contrary, comes under the field examining “impairments in professional inquiry”. Charles E. Lindblom, Sterling Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Yale University, wrote extensively about impaired inquiry among professors. I think we should still appreciate Chomsky’s past contributions to the study of propaganda and war crimes. Activists attending presentations by Chomsky or participating in online forums about his paradoxical position on 9/11 should realize their energies can be better spent elsewhere.

LS: Do you consider it as ironic that some features of the official narrative of the events unfolding on 9/11 hardly stand the test of a real rigorous and sober scientific approach to them? If so, could you give us an example, please?

AZ: I receive e-mails from professors every week that agree that it is ironic that elements within the official narrative do not pass basic scholarly criteria. A most basic principle of scholarship is to verify sources of information. I can give four examples of information crucial to the 9/11 narrative that was destroyed by government officials. Academics should reflect on how this is a serious violation of scholarship.

[A] Some of the crucial tape recordings of communications among Federal Aviation Agency workers, concerning the hijackings that were occurring, were destroyed by a FAA supervisor. (4) [B] Some of the tape recordings of the torture testimony crucial to how 9/11 was organized were destroyed by the Central Intelligence Agency. [C] Despite an agreement to maintain Securities and Exchange Commission stock market information, critical data regarding the high probability of insider trading in the days leading up to 9/11 were destroyed. [D] Most academics in civil engineering are quite disturbed when they learn of a third skyscraper, WTC7, that came down on 9/11 that was not even hit by a plane. A computer model was used by NIST, a scientific institute funded by the U.S. government, to explain WTC7′s demise. However, civil engineers trying to verify the computer model have been denied and the details of the computer model have been classified.

LS: Do you think that academics shy away from the subject of 9/11 in order to avoid to be scorned per se by their colleagues as “conspiracy theorists”? In other words, is this also a matter of timidity and the lack of courage in the sense as Robert F. Kennedy once put it: “Few men are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality of those who seek to change a world which yields most painfully to change.” (5)

AZ: Academics who have taught for over 30 years in top universities said during the film interviews that the main reason why academics do not critically examine 9/11 is because of timidity and laziness. Kenneth Westhues, Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Legal Studies at the University of Waterloo, stated in his endorsement of the film: “Canadian academic historian Michiel Horn has observed that as a rule, professors are milquetoasts. Here is documentary proof of Horn’s observation, on the subject of this century’s first great day of infamy. This film also documents exceptions to Horn’s rule: professors with guts enough to raise critical questions. Highly recommended, especially for provoking reasoned political discussion and debate”. Westhues’ statement concurs with Robert Kennedy’s observation regarding timidity. Professors have a unique profession because they have academic freedom. What’s also unfortunately unique is that most professors don’t make use of academic freedom. However, I am optimistic as I receive frequent e-mails from academics wanting to work together to bring to a halt this fraudulent 100-year war on terror.

LS: Thank you very much for taking your time, Mr. Zuberi!

REFERENCES:

(1) “General foresees ‘generational war’ against terrorism”, Washington Times, December 13, 2006, here.

(2) Peer-reviewed Papers on Critical Perspectives on 9/11, published at the web site of “9/11 in the Academic Community” here.

(3) Noam Chomsky: “9-11” (New York: Seven Stories Press, 2002), pp. 120-121.

(4) Matthew L. Wald: “F.A.A. Official Scrapped Tape of 9/11 Controllers’ Statements”, New York Times, May 6, 2004, here.

(5) Robert F. Kennedy: “Day of Affirmation,” speech delivered at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, June 6th, 1966, published here.

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School Shooting Expert Threatened Over Sandy Hook Investigation: Was told if he didn’t back off “bad things are going to happen”

43-minute game-changing interview here.

Wolfgang Halbig has the perfect combination of expertise to evaluate what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School:

  • law enforcement: Florida State Trooper, US Customs Agent.
  • education: teacher, assistant principal, principal.
  • current school safety expert: trained key personnel at over 4,000 US school districts, and over 3,500 school safety officers.

His conclusion after ten months of motivated investigation:

“In my professional opinion, [Sandy Hook was] a scripted event… in planning for maybe two, two and a half years.”

Mr. Halbig’s response is demand for criminal arrests of “leaders” involved in Sandy Hook based on rational embrace of the public evidence he explains in the interview:

  • law enforcement parked 1/4 mile away upon arrival. Why didn’t they rush to a heart-wrenching emergency if it really occurred?
  • no trauma helicopters were ordered. This is unheard of for an actual emergency.
  • no paramedics were allowed in the school. This is unheard of.
  • officials refuse to say who declared all 26 people dead. By law, this must come from a doctor. This refusal of so much basic information indicates lies and cover-ups.
  • official narrative claims emergency personnel didn’t find the school secretary and nurse after 4 hours of searching.
  • this “event” included a traffic sign lit with the message, “everyone must sign in.” Officials refuse any comment on this element that would be present for a staged event/drill.
  • porta potties were on site; again with no comment by officials and consistent with holding a staged event.
  • no names were listed for the 26 children and chorus director at the 2013 Super Bowl event in honor of Sandy Hook. It’s unimaginable to not list these names for such a huge deal.
  • no lawsuits filed by parents for negligence against school district. This is unheard of.
  • 2 homicide investigators threatened Mr. Halbig for making inquiries consistent with his professional duties to learn about this event for future school safety.
  • Newtown Public Schools won’t return any calls. Mr. Halbig says this non-cooperation to contribute information for other schools’ safety is unheard of.
  • the FBI classified the report on Sandy Hook. This has never been done before, and indicates a cover-up of all the evidence that this was a staged event.
  • radio transmissions are consistent in tone and content for a drill, not an actual emergency.
  • multiple weapons reported at a limited crime scene were never found. This is not credible.
  • law enforcement sent a kindergarten girl from the hall to stay at the crime scene of room 8 to be alone with dead bodies. This is a ridiculous claim that demands investigation and answers.
  • no parents viewed the bodies of their children. This is also unheard of.
  • no documents are being released via Freedom of Information Act requests. This is unheard of.
  • trauma services were never requested. This would never occur.
  • tearing down the school is consistent with destruction of evidence, given the HUGE gaps between official accounts and the evidence.
  • no bio-hazard company was contacted to clean blood, bodily fluids. This is impossible.
  • Mr. Halbig’s inquiries of who installed the school security system has been met with silence. This is unheard of to not get this information to improve other schools.

Mr. Halbig has the professional expertise to conclude the official story is impossible, and to demand arrests in order for the public to have the truth.

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/02/video-national-school-safety-expert-sandy-hook-shooting-fraud.html

Are Millions of Business People At Risk of Dying In Collapsing Buildings?

by WashingtonsBlog

This is one in a series of safety-related public service announcements.

Death Traps?

Millions of people work in or visit high-rise buildings … assuming the buildings were more or less safe.

But it turns out that there is a severe, lethal risk of sudden collapse in even the best-made skyscrapers in America, Britain, Germany, Japan and other nations worldwide.

A New Understanding

Before 9/11, no modern steel-frame high-rise building had ever collapsed due to fire.

9/11 radically changed our understanding of architecture and engineering …

Specifically, 3 steel-frame buildings collapsed on that day. That includes one that was never hit by a plane, and had only small, isolated office fires prior to its collapse.

This was unexpected, as much hotter, longer-lasting fires have never before brought down a modern steel-frame office building.  For example, the 2005 Madrid skyscraper fire “reached 800 degrees Celsius (1,472 F), said Javier Sanz, head of Madrid firefighter”  and lasted some 20 hours without collapsing.

In other words, officials who write building codes, architects and structural engineers had never before worried about small office fires causing office buildings from collapsing.

Appendix A of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s World Trade Center Building Performance Study notes:

In the case of the fire at One Meridian Plaza, the fire burned uncontrolled for the first 11 hours and lasted 19 hours. Contents from nine floors were completely consumed in the fire. In addition to these experiences in fire incidents, as a result of the Broadgate fire, British Steel and the Building Research Establishment performed a series of six experiments at Cordington in the mid-1990s to investigate the behavior of steel frame buildings. These experiments were conducted in a simulated, eight-story building. Secondary steel beams were not protected. Despite the temperature of the steel beam reaching 800-900 °C (1,500-1,700 °F) in three tests (well above the traditionally assumed critical temperature of 600 °C [1,100 °F]), no collapse was observed in any of the six experiments.

Underwriters Laboratories tested the steel components at the Twin Towers and found they could withstand fires for hours without failure:

“NIST [the government agency – National Institute of Standards and Technology, a branch of the Department of Commerce – responsible for investigating the collapse of the 3 buildings on 9/11] contracted with Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. to conduct tests to obtain information on the fire endurance of trusses like those in the WTC towers…. All four test specimens sustained the maximum design load for approximately 2 hours without collapsing… The Investigation Team was cautious about using these results directly in the formulation of collapse hypotheses. In addition to the scaling issues raised by the test results, the fires in the towers on September 11, and the resulting exposure of the floor systems, were substantially different from the conditions in the test furnaces. Nonetheless, the [empirical test] results established that this type of assembly was capable of sustaining a large gravity load, without collapsing, for a substantial period of time relative to the duration of the fires in any given location on September 11.” (NIST, 2005, p. 140).

Other fire tests have also failed to cause failures at high temperatures.

So the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 on 9/11 (not hit by a plane) was a surprise … and should be a huge concern to the millions of people who work in office buildings worldwide.

To get to the bottom of this issue, Washington’s Blog reached out to a former manager at Underwriters Laboratories – Kevin Ryan – to seek reassurance that the danger was small for the millions of financial services industry workers, business men, lawyers, web executives, and others who work in office buildings:

[Question]  Wasn’t the steel used in the Twin Towers and Building 7 of inferior quality?  So as long as builders use better-quality steel, can’t we be assured of safety?

[Kevin Ryan]   The steel used to build WTC Building 7 was the standard grade for high-rise construction–still used to this day–called ASTM A36 grade steel. It was not inferior in any way from the steel used to make many of the other high-rise buildings in America.

For the Twin Towers, fourteen different grades of steel were used in the construction, including A36, which has a nominal strength of 36 ksi.  The other grades used were higher strength steels like 100 ksi WEL-TEN steel which was manufactured in Japan and shipped to the States. The steel used in the Towers was actually far superior to typical structural steel.

The official government reports on the destruction of the WTC buildings did not find any problem with the quality of the materials or construction methods used. And although those reports did make some recommendations for changes to building codes, those changes have not been incorporated in municipal codes or adopted by the building construction community.

[Question]   You write in Foreign Policy Journal:

“And if people actually understood and believed the official account of what happened at the WTC they would not enter tall buildings because in doing so they would be putting their lives at risk.”

What do you mean?

[Ryan]  What I mean is that high-rise buildings are designed and constructed to withstand fires that are much worse than what we know existed in WTC Building 7. My former company, Underwriters Laboratories (UL), plays a big part in that process. We know that UL did the fire resistance testing that was behind the selection of the steel components for WTC7 because that fact is in the NIST WTC7 report. Therefore the steel columns and floor assemblies should have withstood 2 to 3 hours of intense fire in a testing furnace, as required by the NYC code.  But on 9/11, the fire lasted only 20 minutes in any given area, a fact that NIST admits, and the entire structure was destroyed due to an inexplicable failure to resist fire.

Moreover, NIST abandoned its previous hypotheses that suggested the destruction of WTC7 might have resulted from diesel fuel fires, or damage from falling debris, or the design of the building. In the end, NIST said that it was only the effects of the fire fed by office furnishings, on fully-fireproofed steel components, that caused the total destruction of this 47-story building. And since no actions have been taken to retrofit any existing high-rise buildings, we must assume that what happened to WTC7, according to the official account, could happen to any tall building that experiences a typical office fire.

No Change (?!)

Given that 9/11 totally changed our understanding of how dangerous small office fires could be, we couldn’t believe Ryan’s claim that “changes have not been incorporated in municipal codes or adopted by the building construction community.”

So Washington’s Blog contacted Richard Gage,  a practicing architect for more than two decades, who has worked on most types of building construction, including one project which used  around 1,200 tons of steel framing:

[Question] Have high-rise architects and engineers changed how they build skyscrapers, to prevent collapses after 9/11?

And have they changed how they build skyscrapers to prevent office fires from knocking down steel buildings?

[Richard Gage] No – they haven’t made any structural changes.

No structural changes?!

Either building code writers, architects and engineers are cavalierly ignoring this catastrophic new understanding of the extreme danger of small office fires, or the investigation into the collapse of World Trade Center building 7 on 9/11 was flawed.

No wonder New York residents have launched a High Rise Safety Initiative to try to protect the safety of those who work or visit office buildings.

Postscript:  Until this issue is resolved through a complete revision of building codes and architectural and engineering practices, we recommend that everyone stay out of office buildings. Because if even small office fires can cause the whole building to collapse, it’s just not worth the risk to go inside.

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/02/millions-business-people-risk-dying-collapsing-buildings.html

Alberto Gonzales Attempts To Justify The Targeted Assassination Of American Citizens With NO Trial

Family Survival Protocol - Microcosm News

MOXNEWSd0tC0MMOXNEWSd0tC0M

Published on Feb 11, 2014

February 11, 2014 BBC News http://MOXNews.com

…..

Another U.S. citizen a potential drone target

By Tom Cohen and Tom Watkins, CNN
updated 6:21 PM EST, Tue February 11, 2014

(CNN) — U.S. counterterrorism officials are closely watching an al Qaeda fighter in Pakistan who could become the next American to be targeted for killing by a drone strike, CNN has learned.

The person has been the subject of debate among military commanders and intelligence officials for several weeks as they decide what to recommend. President Barack Obama would make a final decision.

CNN has also learned key members of Congress have been aware of the internal debate.

The officials spoke to CNN’s Barbara Starr on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.

U.S. citizen may be target of drone

The current discussions involve both military commanders in the special forces…

View original post 459 more words

Pentagon says it has no records of bin Laden’s death; CIA hasn’t answered open records request

Article by: RICHARD+LARDNER+,+Associated+Press

WASHINGTON – The hunt for Osama bin Laden took nearly a decade. It could take even longer to uncover U.S. government emails, planning reports, photographs and more that would shed light on how an elite team of Navy SEALs killed the world’s most wanted terrorist.

Ten months after that electrifying covert mission, an administration that has pledged to be the most transparent in American history is refusing to release documents about it under the Freedom of Information Act. The records could provide insights into how bin Laden died, how the U.S. verified his identity and how it decided to bury him at sea, as well as photographs taken during and after the May 2011 raid on his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

Government officials have openly discussed details of the mission in speeches, interviews and television appearances, but the administration won’t disclose records that would confirm their narrative of that fateful night. The Obama administration has not said even where in Washington’s bureaucracy all the documents might be stored.

Requests for bin Laden materials were among the most significant of any filed last year under the open records law, which compels the government to turn over copies of federal records for free or at little cost. Anyone who seeks information under the law is generally supposed to get it unless disclosure would hurt national security, violate personal privacy or expose business secrets or confidential decision-making. The law has been the focus of extra attention since Sunday, the start of Sunshine Week, when news organizations promote open government and freedom of information.

Citing the law, The Associated Press asked for files about the raid in more than 20 separate requests, mostly submitted the day after bin Laden’s death. The Pentagon told the AP this month it could not locate any photographs or video taken during the raid or showing bin Laden’s body. It also said it could not find any images of bin Laden’s body on the Navy aircraft carrier where the al-Qaida leader’s body was taken.

The Pentagon said it could not find any death certificate, autopsy report or results of DNA identification tests for bin Laden, or any pre-raid materials discussing how the government planned to dispose of bin Laden’s body if he were killed. It said it searched files at the Pentagon, U.S. Special Operations Command in Tampa, Fla., and the Navy command in San Diego that controls the USS Carl Vinson, the aircraft carrier used in the mission.

The Defense Department told the AP in late February it could not find any emails about the bin Laden mission or his “Geronimo” code name that were sent or received in the year before the raid by William McRaven, the three-star admiral at the Joint Special Operations Command who organized and oversaw the mission. It also could not find any emails from other senior officers who would have been involved in the mission’s planning. It found only three such emails written by or sent to then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and these consisted of 12 pages sent to Gates summarizing news reports after the raid.

Under the FOIA, even if a document contains secrets about national security, the government can censor those passages but must release anything else in the document that is “reasonably segregable.”

The information blackout means that the only public accounts of the mission come from U.S. officials who have described details of that night. In the hours and days after bin Laden’s death, the White House provided conflicting versions of events, falsely saying that bin Laden was armed and even firing at the SEALs, misidentifying which of bin Laden’s sons was killed, and incorrectly saying bin Laden’s wife died in the shootout. President Barack Obama’s press secretary attributed the errors to the “fog of combat.”

Since then, no authoritative or contemporaneous records have been made available. For the Obama administration, the book on bin Laden appears to be closed.

The Pentagon is refusing even to confirm or deny the existence of helicopter maintenance logs and reports about the performance of military gear used in the raid. One of the stealth helicopters that carried the SEALs to Abbottabad crashed during the mission and its wreckage was left behind. People who lived near bin Laden’s compound took photos of the disabled chopper as it straddled one of the high walls surrounding the building. The photos showed a unique tail rotor that aviation experts said was designed to avoid radar detection.

On the AP’s request for the helicopter records and equipment reports, the Defense Department invoked what is known as a “Glomar response.” The reference dates to the 1970s when the CIA refused to confirm or deny the existence of the Glomar Explorer, a ship the agency used in the attempted salvage of a sunken Soviet submarine.

The AP is appealing the Defense Department’s decision. The CIA, which ran the bin Laden raid and has special legal authority to keep information from ever being made public, still has not responded to AP’s request for records about the mission.

The CIA has photographs of video recordings of bin Laden taken during the operation. In the days after the raid, select U.S. lawmakers were invited to visit a secure room at CIA headquarters to view more than a dozen of the images, including pictures of bin Laden’s body. They were not allowed to take copies of the photos back to Capitol Hill.

Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he viewed one photo that showed brain matter coming out of bin Laden’s eye socket. Inhofe said others were taken as the body was being prepared for burial at sea and were less jarring. He said Thursday that he favors making at least a few of the less graphic photos public to dispel any doubts that bin Laden is dead.

“There are probably still people out there who don’t think he was killed,” Inhofe said.

Federal courts consistently have upheld the government’s use of the Glomar response, which is different from refusing to disclose materials. Citing Glomar often happens in national security cases or is used to protect an individual’s privacy. It’s a tough legal claim to beat in court.

The former director of the Justice Department’s Office of Information and Privacy, Dan Metcalfe, said the Pentagon overplayed its position. Citing Glomar in AP’s case means the fact that the military performs maintenance on helicopters or that it prepares reports about weapons performance is itself classified, he said. The Pentagon’s claim is so broad that it “collapses of its own weight,” Metcalfe said.

Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group, has sued the administration in federal court to force the release of photos and video of bin Laden. The AP has not sued to force the government to turn over the broader range of materials it has requested.

In the Judicial Watch lawsuit, federal officials acknowledged that the CIA has more than 50 photographs and video recordings of bin Laden’s body taken after the raid and during his burial at sea. The director of the CIA’s National Clandestine Service, John Bennett, said in a court declaration last year that many of the photographs and video recordings are “quite graphic, as they depict the fatal bullet wound to (bin Laden) and other similarly gruesome images of his corpse.”

Judicial Watch has disputed the Obama administration’s argument that American personnel and secrets will be at risk if the images are released. It called the concern over violence against Americans stationed overseas “hypothetical speculation” and said it is hard to understand how a photo of bin Laden being buried at sea would expose sensitive equipment or personnel.

The U.S. Special Operations Command, which oversees the Navy SEALs and other commando units, keeps tight rein on information about their equipment, training and missions. In August 2007, it denied a request by the AP for an internal report on the Battle of Mogadishu, a military operation in Somalia in October 1993 that cost 18 American troops their lives.

The command told AP that the report was still classified, even though the battle, better known as “Black Hawk Down,” was the subject of books, a movie and countless military studies. Under AP’s appeal, the command eventually released a copy with all but nine of the 73 pages completely blacked out. Most of the information remains secret, the command said, to protect military plans, weapon systems and the privacy of individuals involved.

In other cases, the government has revealed more. Just four months after Operation Eagle Claw, the failed attempt in 1980 to rescue 53 U.S. hostages in Iran, the Pentagon released an unclassified version of an investigation about what went wrong. The forward to the 87-page report noted the importance of providing as much detail as possible to the American public.

More recently, the National Security Archive, a private research institute at George Washington University, waited three years for the government to hand over records describing the military’s initial plans for invading Iraq. A series of slides, prepared under the codename Polo Step, showed that war planners believed in August 2002 that the U.S. would have only 5,000 troops left in Iraq by December 2006.