Launching the U.S. Terror War: the CIA, 9/11, Afghanistan, and Central Asia

March 18, 2012

by Peter Dale Cott   source: Global Research   Mar 18, 2012

On September 11, 2001, within hours of the murderous 9/11 attacks, Bush, Rumsfeld, and Cheney had committed America to what they later called the “War on Terror.” It should more properly, I believe, be called the “Terror War,” one in which terror has been directed repeatedly against civilians by all participants, both states and non-state actors.1 It should also be seen as part of a larger, indeed global, process in which terror has been used against civilians in interrelated campaigns by all major powers, including China in Xinjiang and Russia in Chechnya, as well as the United States.2 Terror war in its global context should perhaps be seen as the latest stage of the age-long secular spread of transurban civilization into areas of mostly rural resistance — areas where conventional forms of warfare, for either geographic or cultural reasons, prove inconclusive.

Terror War was formally declared by George W. Bush on the evening of September 11, 2001, with his statement to the American nation that “we will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.”3 But the notion that Bush’s terror war was in pursuit of actual terrorists lost credibility in 2003, when it was applied to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, a country known to have been targeted by terrorists but not to have harbored them.4 It lost still more credibility with the 2005 publication in Britain of the so-called Downing Street memo, in which the head of the British intelligence service MI6 reported after a visit to Washington in 2002 that “Bush wanted to remove Saddam Hussein, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.”5 False stories followed in due course linking Iraq to WMD, anthrax, and Niger yellowcake (uranium).

This essay will demonstrate that before 9/11 a small element inside the CIA’s Bin Laden Unit and related agencies, the so-called Alec Station Group, were also busy, “fixing” intelligence by suppressing it, in a way which, accidentally or deliberately, enabled the Terror War. They did so by withholding evidence from the FBI before 9/11 about two of the eventual alleged hijackers on 9/11, Khalid Al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi, thus ensuring that the FBI could not surveil the two men or their colleagues.

This failure to share was recognized in the 9/11 Commission Report, but treated as an accident that might not have occurred “if more resources had been applied.”6 This explanation, however, has since been refuted by 9/11 Commission Chairman Tom Kean. Asked recently by two filmmakers if the failure to deal appropriately with al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi could have been a simple mistake, Kean replied:

Oh, it wasn’t careless oversight. It was purposeful. No question about that .… The conclusion that we came to was that in the DNA of these organizations was secrecy. And secrecy to the point of ya don’t share it with anybody.7

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One Soldier, One Year: $850,000 and Rising

February 29, 2012

By Larry Shaughnessy   Source: CNN   Feb 29, 2012

Keeping one American service member in Afghanistan costs between $850,000 and $1.4 million a year, depending on who you ask. But one matter is clear, that cost is going up.

During a budget hearing today on Capitol Hill, Sen. Kent Conrad, D-North Dakota, asked Department of Defense leaders, “What is the cost per soldier, to maintain a soldier for a year in Afghanistan?” Under Secretary Robert Hale, the Pentagon comptroller, responded “Right now about $850,000 per soldier.”

Conrad seemed shocked at the number.
“That kind of takes my breath away, when you tell me it’s $850,000,” Conrad said

If that’s the case he’d really be shocked by the estimate that the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments reached about the same issue.

“The cost per troop in Afghanistan has averaged $1.2 million per troop per year,” the center’s Todd Harrison wrote in an analysis of last year’s Department of Defense budget.

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Justice Dept. Takes on Itself in Probe of 2001 Anthrax Attacks

January 31, 2012
 

Have you seen the documentary called Anthrax War? See the first part below and then click this link: http://www.anthraxwar.com/

by Jerry Markon  Source: Washington Post    Jan 31, 2012

Since it began a decade ago, the federal government’s massive investigation of the 2001 anthrax attacks has been plagued by missteps and complications.

Investigators initially focused on the wrong man, then had to pay him a nearly $6 million settlement. In 2008, they accused another man, Bruce E. Ivins, who killed himself before he could go to trial.

Now, in the latest twist, the government has argued against itself.

In documents deep in the files of a recently settled Florida lawsuit, Justice Department civil attorneys contradicted their own department’s conclusion that Ivins was unquestionably the anthrax killer. The lawyers said the type of anthrax in Ivins’s lab was “radically different” from the deadly anthrax. They cited several witnesses who said Ivins was innocent, and they suggested that a private laboratory in Ohio could have been involved in the attacks.

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Celebrating Spiritual Death On Black Friday

November 29, 2011

by Coleen Rowley   source: Op Ed News    Nov 29, 2011

“Martin Luther King Jr. warned that a country in continuous war approaches spiritual death. I wonder if he realized that this extinction would play out in the nation’s shopping malls as, like the Romans, we distract ourselves with bread and circuses from the crimes and catastrophes that surround us, and the responsibilities we avoid”

Celebrating Spiritual Death On Black Friday

How many remember that this “Black Friday” marks the 10th anniversary of George Bush’s famous presidential advisory just after 9/11 for citizens to do their patriotic duty by pushing their worries aside and going shopping? The idea of asking the American people to make sacrifices in the face of the coming “War on Terror” was too ’70s, too Jimmy Carter.

The 2001 attacks were quickly seized upon by hard-core propagandists and “shock doctrine” advocates as the “new Pearl Harbor,” sparking a decade of blatant social-psychological manipulation. The media onslaught has proved sadly effective in getting Americans to support the ongoing series of bloody and bankrupting wars and to overlook the root causes of this violence in today’s world.

By incessantly pushing on the emotional hot-buttons of fear, hate, greed, false pride and blind loyalty (in that order), warmongers and flim-flam men have, since time immemorial, sought to bring out the worst in human beings. Up to now the propaganda has worked, persuading most Americans to accept with minimal visible coercion the enormous corruption and cruelty at the heart of the corporate-military-industrial-congressional-media complex.

I’m embarrassed to admit that I played a small role back in late October 2001 in stoking the national shopping addiction, which worked so well to distract the American citizenry from looking closely at 9/11. At that time, the officially endorsed shopping compulsion served to prevent people from asking questions about how and why the attacks had occurred, and from paying full attention to the horrendously wrongheaded initial responses. These included the mass roundup of innocents; the establishment of indefinite, due process-free, Kafkaesque detention zones at Guantanamo and elsewhere; and the initial conspiracy to go to the “dark side” and resort to systematic torture — all of which served to morally bankrupt the United States.

At that time, Minnesota’s Mall of America boasted of being the largest shopping complex in the world. Soon after 9/11, its stores, like others around the country, fell victim to the “Halloween terrorist threat hoax,” which mall owners feared, would scare off would-be shoppers. And so, as our FBI office spokesperson, I dutifully participated in a hastily organized press conference instigated by the Mall. I merely spoke the truth at the press conference, assuring the gathered media that the warning that terrorists would target malls in the United States was just a hollow rumor that had gone viral, without any real evidence or intelligence behind it.

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Afghanistan: Ten Years of War

October 9, 2011

source: Corbett Report     Oct 9, 2011

October 7th marks the ten year anniversary of the commencement of NATO operations in Afghanistan. Although the impending illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003 was enough to drive millions of people worldwide into the streets in protest, there has never been the same widespread resistance to the Afghan war.

This war has been deemed the “right war” and given a broad measure of support from across the political spectrum because it is still linked in the popular imagination with the events of 9/11. Even a cursory interrogation of these assumptions, however, reveals the absurd nature of this pretext for what has been all along an illegal invasion and occupation of a sovereign nation.

On the evening of 9/11, the North Atlantic Council issued a statement offering the assistance of all 18 NATO member states to the United States, calling the attacks “without precedent in the modern era.”

The next day the Council met again, making the extraordinary decision to invoke Article 5 of the Washington Treaty for the first time in NATO’s history. The carefully worded statement contained the important stipulation that Article 5 would only apply if it could be determined that the attacks were directed from abroad, something that NATO Secretary General Robertson noted had not been determined.

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No 9/11 Trial This Year at Guantánamo War Court

October 4, 2011

source: Miami Herald    Oct 4, 2011

The trial of five Guantánamo captives accused of the Sept. 11 mass murder won’t begin until next year at the earliest under a timetable set out Monday by the legal authority in charge of the war court.

Retired Vice Adm. Bruce MacDonald notified lawyers on both sides of the case that he will accept recommendations on whether the case should go forward as a death penalty prosecution until Jan 15, 2012. Moreover, he also set the same deadline for Pentagon-appointed lawyers to offer their opinions on whether all five men should be tried simultaneously.

Prosecutors swore out a capital case against confessed 9/11 plot mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed and his four alleged co-conspirators in May after Attorney General Eric Holder abandoned a plan to have a civilian judge and jury hear the case in a Manhattan federal court.

Since then, the case has been mired in delay while some members of the Pentagon-paid defense teams try to obtain security clearances to meet the accused at Guantánamo and start work on their cases.

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Rise of the Drones – UAVs After 9/11

October 4, 2011

by Randy Roughton    source: Armed with Science    Oct 4, 2011

Hummingbird drones fly at 11 mph and can perch on windowsills. The 3-foot-long Raven can be tossed into the air like a model airplane to spy over the next hill in Afghanistan. The Air Force’s new Gorgon Stare aerial drone sensor technology can capture live video of an entire city. From the RQ-4 Global Hawk and MQ-1 Predator to considerably smaller aerial drones in recent years, the Air Force has experienced an unmanned aircraft revolution in the decade since Sept. 11, 2001.

….

Long before 9/11, former Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. John P. Jumper, then U.S. Air Forces in Europe commander, envisioned giving unmanned aerial vehicles offensive capability that would allow immediate action when their surveillance cameras spotted high-value targets. In 1999, RQ-1 Predators flew over Kosovo 24 hours per day in surveillance of hostile forces.

Almost seven months before 9/11, a Predator successfully fired a Hellfire missile in flight near Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. The same Predator was among the first three UAVs to deploy overseas on Sept. 12, 2001. By the height of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2005, Jumper told Congress he wanted to buy every Predator the General Atomics Aeronautical Systems in San Diego could build, and the Air Force announced it would buy 144 Predators and increase the squadrons of robotic spy planes from three to 12 in the next five years.

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