Pentagon Contractor Profits Rise —Along With Casualties

May 24, 2010

by Sherwood Ross   May 24, 2010

The fighting in Afghanistan this week has resulted in the deaths of Canadian Colonel Geoff Parker, 42, of Oakville, Ontario, and U.S. Colonel John McHugh, 46, of W. Caldwell, New Jersey.  It also claimed the lives of Lieutenant Colonels Paul Bartz, 43, of Waterloo, Wis., and Thomas Belkofer, 44, of Perrysburg, Ohio. Other fatalities were Staff Sgt. Richard Tieman, 28, of Waynesboro, Pa., and Specialist Joshua Tomlinson, 24, of Dubberly, La.

 The four officers were killed in Kabul, The New York Times reported May 21, when “A suicide bomber in a minibus drove into their convoy (of armored sports utility vehicles), killing the four officers, two other American servicemen and 12 Afghan civilians in a passing bus.” The total number of U.S. service member deaths since the U.S. invaded Afghanistan eight years ago now stands at 1,064. The number of contractors killed in the fighting has been put at around 300. And in 2008 alone it is estimated that nearly 4,000 Afghan civilians perished.

 This writer deeply regrets each and every one of those deaths, especially those of the 12 innocent Afghan civilians this week. They likely would all be alive today if President George W. Bush had not chosen to invade a country that never attacked America and which the U.S. oil industry has long coveted for a pipeline route. They would be alive if President Barack Obama had withdrawn U.S. troops. Instead, he has escalated the conflict and increased “defense” spending to a record $708 billion for fiscal 2011—a step which will only make the U.S. military-industrial complex(MIC) more powerful. For those associated with MIC, however, “defense” spending means jobs and prosperity.

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Airline Pilot Cleared of Role in 9/11 After ‘Nine Years of Hell’

April 23, 2010

source: UK Guardian    April 23, 2010

The pilot falsely accused of training the hijackers responsible for the 9/11 terrorist attacks has won his almost decade-long miscarriage of justice battle.

Lotfi Raissi, an Algerian living in Britain who lost his career as an airline pilot, suffered wrongful imprisonment and damage to his health, will now be eligible for up to £2m compensation.

Raissi became the first person to be accused of participating in the 2001 attack in New York and Washington. He was held for five months in Belmarsh high security prison in London and told he would be charged with conspiracy and murder in the US where he could face the death penalty.

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This Week in 9/11 (March 22 – March 28)

March 28, 2010

March 28, 2010

A summary of news relating to 9/11/01 – For the week of March 22 through March 28, 2010. (Last week is here)

To many the week’s biggest news might have been the documents obtained by the ACLU, detailing many things including the words of John Ashcroft, Donald Rumsfeld, and George Tenent to the 9/11 Commission Chairmen to “not cross” a certain line of investigation. According to the specific document (or page 26 in the original PDF of documents at ACLU) :

There is, however, a line that the Commission should not cross — the line separating the Commission’s proper inquiry into the September 11, 2001 attacks from interference with the Government’s ability to safeguard the national security, including protection of Americans from future terrorist attacks. The Commission staffs proposed participation in questioning of detainees would cross that line.

Of course that is only a small piece of the withholdings by officials regarding 9/11, but many can use this in specific discussions of the whitewash known as the 9/11 Commission Report and its improper investigation to skeptics. 

 Another tape allegedly from Bin Laden made headlines across the U.S.. However none of the headlines from the mainstream “corp-press” mentioned the fact that Bin Laden has been reported dead by many media outlets:

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The Guantánamo “Suicides”: A Camp Delta sergeant blows the whistle

January 19, 2010

by Scott Horton   source: Global Research   Jan 19, 2010

1. “Asymmetrical Warfare”

When President Barack Obama took office last year, he promised to “restore the standards of due process and the core constitutional values that have made this country great.” Toward that end, the president issued an executive order declaring that the extra-constitutional prison camp at Guantánamo “shall be closed as soon as practicable, and no later than one year from the date of this order.” Obama has failed to fulfill his promise. Some prisoners are being charged with crimes, others released, but the date for closing the camp seems to recede steadily into the future. Furthermore, new evidence now emerging may entangle Obama’s young administration with crimes that occurred during the Bush presidency, evidence that suggests the current administration failed to investigate seriously—and may even have continued—a cover-up of the possible homicides of three prisoners at Guantánamo in 2006. 

Late in the evening on June 9 that year, three prisoners at Guantánamo died suddenly and violently. Salah Ahmed Al-Salami, from Yemen, was thirty-seven. Mani Shaman Al-Utaybi, from Saudi Arabia, was thirty. Yasser Talal Al-Zahrani, also from Saudi Arabia, was twenty-two, and had been imprisoned at Guantánamo since he was captured at the age of seventeen. None of the men had been charged with a crime, though all three had been engaged in hunger strikes to protest the conditions of their imprisonment. They were being held in a cell block, known as Alpha Block, reserved for particularly troublesome or high-value prisoners.

 As news of the deaths emerged the following day, the camp quickly went into lockdown. The authorities ordered nearly all the reporters at Guantánamo to leave and those en route to turn back. The commander at Guantánamo, Rear Admiral Harry Harris, then declared the deaths “suicides.” In an unusual move, he also used the announcement to attack the dead men. “I believe this was not an act of desperation,” he said, “but an act of asymmetrical warfare waged against us.” Reporters accepted the official account, and even lawyers for the prisoners appeared to believe that they had killed themselves. Only the prisoners’ families in Saudi Arabia and Yemen rejected the notion.

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Given Everything That’s Happened, Shouldn’t We At Least ASK?

January 5, 2010

source: Washinghtons Blog    Jan 4, 2010

Given that Cheney is apparently at least partly responsible for creating the terror problem in Yemen

And that one of the most highly decorated soldiers of all time says that “war is a racket” …

Given that FBI agents and CIA intelligence officials, constitutional law expert professor Jonathan Turley, Time Magazine, Keith Olbermann and the Washington Post have all said that U.S. government officials “were trying to create an atmosphere of fear in which the American people would give them more power” …

And that “truth is the first casualty of war” …

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Iraq to Support Blackwater Lawsuit in U.S. Courts

January 3, 2010

This is a step in the right direction, but being that Iraq is still occupied by the U.S. Military, Blackwater, NATO, etc., the people of Iraq have a long road ahead of them..

source: Reuters

Iraq will help victims of the 2007 shooting of civilians in Baghdad to file a U.S. lawsuit against employees of security firm Blackwater, an incident that turned a spotlight on the United States’ use of private contractors in war zones.

Last week, a U.S. judge threw out charges against five guards accused of killing 14 Iraqi civilians at a Baghdad traffic circle, saying the defendants’ constitutional rights had been violated.

Iraq called that decision “unacceptable and unjust” and, as well as supporting a lawsuit brought by Iraqis wounded in the shooting and families of those killed, it will ask the U.S. Justice Department to review the criminal case, government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said on Sunday.

“The government will facilitate a lawsuit from Iraqi citizens to sue the guards and the company in a U.S. court,” he said.

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Top 25 Censored Stories for 2010

January 3, 2010
  • 1. US Congress Sells Out to Wall Street
  • 2. US Schools are More Segregated Today than in the 1950s
  • 3. Toxic Waste Behind Somali Pirates
  • 4. Nuclear Waste Pools in North Carolina
  • 5. Europe Blocks US Toxic Products
  • 6. Lobbyists Buy Congress
  • 7. Obama’s Military Appointments Have Corrupt Past
  • 8. Bailed out Banks and America’s Wealthiest Cheat IRS Out of Billions
  • 9. US Arms Used for War Crimes in Gaza
  • 10. Ecuador Declares Foreign Debt Illegitimate
  • 11. Private Corporations Profit from the Occupation of Palestine
  • 12. Mysterious Death of Mike Connell—Karl Rove’s Election Thief
  • 13. Katrina’s Hidden Race War
  • 14. Congress Invested in Defense Contracts
  • 15. World Bank’s Carbon Trade Fiasco
  • 16. US Repression of Haiti Continues
  • 17. The ICC Facilitates US Covert War in Sudan
  • 18. Ecuador’s Constitutional Rights of Nature
  • 19. Bank Bailout Recipients Spent to Defeat Labor
  • 20. Secret Control of the Presidential Debates
  • 21. Recession Causes States to Cut Welfare
  • 22. Obama’s Trilateral Commission Team
  • 23. Activists Slam World Water Forum as a Corporate-Driven Fraud
  • 24. Dollar Glut Finances US Military Expansion
  • 25. Fast Track Oil Exploitation in Western Amazon