Posts Tagged ‘War on Terrorism’
Edited by John Stokes
At least 38 people confirmed dead, 64 injured in suicide attacks on two Moscow subway stations.
Packed rush hour trains were attacked at Lubyanka and Park Kultury stations; two female suicide bombers suspected.
Federal Security Service blames Islamist insurgents from North Caucasus; Russian government vows retaliation.
Attacks refocus domestic political agenda on security issues, and likely renewed Russian crackdown on separatist groups.
by Iain Mackenzie
Have you ever contemplated why there appears to be a substantive lack of political will to redress worsening global problems in general? Perhaps you might have also thought of the origins of very specific tragedies in the world. Why, for example, did United Nations agencies, various national governments, and large private organizations turn their back of the mass human suffering of the Rwandan genocide?
Why is history being allowed to repeat itself in Darfur, Sudan, and in diverse parts of Africa where rape has become a specifically organized part of contrived tribal warfare in Africa?
What is the Iraq War all about anyway? If the target is in fact, terrorists, why are supposedly freedom-fighting U.S. backed militaries using Depleted Uranium dirty bombs? These documented “dirty bombs” have caused hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, and tens of thousands of U.S. military personnel to die from cancer and other medical complications. Over one million innocent Iraqi civilians have already died as a result of a U.S. military elite endorsed assault.
Why is poverty globally, and in specific cities from Victoria, Regina, Vancouver and Toronto in Canada, to places in other countries like in St. Louis, Washington D.C., Chicago, Detroit, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles in the U.S., to many other cities like London in the United Kingdom, to Soweto in South Africa, now worsening as elites seem to get more and more commercially prosperous?
Why is the vital natural heritage of our planet Earth being apparently wilfully destroyed, and in the process, ruining the quality of living of billions of people on Earth?
It is apparent that Eugenics is the common thread of premeditated instigation and wilful negligence that is associated with much of Earth’s current problems.
Practitioners and promoters of the Eugenics “super religion”, believe… [CONTINUED.. see comment below]
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by David Ray Griffin
|9/11 Contradictions book by Dr. David Ray Griffin.|
With regard to the morning of 9/11, everyone agrees that at some time after 9:03 (when the South Tower of the World Trade Center was struck) and before 10:00, Vice President Dick Cheney went down to the Presidential Emergency Operations Center (PEOC), sometimes simply called the “bunker,” under the east wing of the White House. Everyone also agrees that, once there, Cheney was in charge—that he was either making decisions or relaying decisions from President Bush. But there is enormous disagreement as to exactly when Cheney entered the PEOC.
According to The 9/11 Commission Report, Cheney arrived “shortly before 10:00, perhaps at 9:58” (The 9/11 Commission Report [henceforth 9/11CR], 40). This official time, however, contradicts almost all previous reports, some of which had him there before 9:20. This difference is important because, if the 9/11 Commission’s time is correct, Cheney was not in charge in the PEOC when the Pentagon was struck, or for most of the period during which United Flight 93 was approaching Washington. But if the reports that have him there by 9:20 are correct, he was in charge in the PEOC all that time.
Mineta’s Report of Cheney’s Early Arrival
The most well-known statement contradicting the 9/11 Commission was made by Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta during his public testimony to the 9/11 Commission on May 23, 2003. Saying that he “arrived at the PEOC at about 9:20 AM,” Mineta reported that he then overheard part of an ongoing conversation, which had obviously begun before he arrived, between a young man and Vice President Cheney. This conversation was about a plane coming toward Washington and ended with Cheney confirming that “the orders still stand.” When Commissioner Timothy Roemer later asked Mineta how long after his arrival he overheard this conversation about whether the orders still stood, Mineta replied: “Probably about five or six minutes.” This would mean, Roemer pointed out, “about 9:25 or 9:26.”
This is a remarkable contradiction. Given the fact that Cheney, according to Mineta, had been engaged in an ongoing exchange, he must have been in the PEOC for several minutes before Mineta’s 9:20 arrival. If Cheney had been there since 9:15, there would be a 43-minute contradiction between Mineta’s testimony and The 9/11 Commission Report. Why would such an enormous contradiction exist?
One possible explanation would be that Mineta was wrong. His story, however, is in line with that of many other witnesses.
Other Reports Supporting Cheney’s Early Arrival
Richard Clarke reported that he, Cheney, and Condoleezza Rice had a brief meeting shortly after 9:03, following which the Secret Service wanted Cheney and Rice to go down to the PEOC. Rice, however, first went with Clarke to the White House’s Video Teleconferencing Center, where Clarke was to set up a video conference, which began at about 9:10. After spending a few minutes there, Rice said, according to Clarke: “You’re going to need some decisions quickly. I’m going to the PEOC to be with the Vice President. Tell us what you need.” At about 9:15, Norman Mineta arrived and Clarke “suggested he join the Vice President” (Against All Enemies, 2-5). Clarke thereby implied that Cheney was in the PEOC several minutes prior to 9:15.
In an ABC News program on the first anniversary of 9/11, Cheney’s White House photographer David Bohrer reported that, shortly after 9:00, some Secret Service agents came into Cheney’s office and said, “Sir, you have to come with us.” During this same program, Rice said: “As I was trying to find all of the principals, the Secret Service came in and said, ‘You have to leave now for the bunker. The Vice President’s already there. There may be a plane headed for the White House.’” ABC’s Charles Gibson then said: “In the bunker, the Vice President is joined by Rice and Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta” (“9/11: Interviews by Peter Jennings,” ABC News, September 11, 2002).
The 9/11 Commission’s Late-Arrival Claim
The 9/11 Commission agreed that the Vice President was hustled down to the PEOC after word was received that a plane was headed towards the White House. It claimed, however, that this word was not received until 9:33. But even then, according to the Commission, the Secret Service agents immediately received another message, telling them that the aircraft had turned away, so “[n]o move was made to evacuate the Vice President at this time.” It was not until “just before 9:36” that the Secret Service ordered Cheney to go below (9/11CR 39). But even after he entered the underground corridor at 9:37, Cheney did not immediately go to the PEOC. Rather:
Once inside, Vice President Cheney and the agents paused in an area of the tunnel that had a secure phone, a bench, and television. The Vice President asked to speak to the President, but it took time for the call to be connected. He learned in the tunnel that the Pentagon had been hit, and he saw television coverage of the smoke coming from the building. (9/11CR 40)
Next, after Lynne Cheney “joined her husband in the tunnel,” the Commission claimed, “Mrs. Cheney and the Vice President moved from the tunnel to the shelter conference room” after the call ended, which was not until after 9:55. As for Rice, the Commission added, she “entered the conference room shortly after the Vice President” (9/11CR 40).
The contradiction could not be clearer. According to the Commission, Cheney, far from entering the PEOC before 9:20, as Mineta and others said, did not arrive there until about 9:58, 20 minutes after the 9:38 strike on the Pentagon, about which he had learned in the corridor.
Cheney’s Account on Meet the Press
The 9/11 Commission’s account even contradicted that given by Cheney himself in a well-known interview. Speaking to Tim Russert on NBC’s Meet the Press only five days after 9/11, Cheney said: “[A]fter I talked to the president… I went down into… the Presidential Emergency Operations Center… [W]hen I arrived there within a short order, we had word the Pentagon’s been hit.” Cheney himself, therefore, indicated that he had entered the PEOC prior to the (9:38) strike on the Pentagon, not 20 minutes after it, as the Commission would later claim.
Dealing with the Contradictions
How did the 9/11 Commission deal with the fact that its claim about the time of Cheney’s arrival in the PEOC had been contradicted by Bohrer, Clarke, Mineta, Rice, several news reports, and even Cheney himself? It simply omitted any mention of these contradictory reports.
Of these omissions, the most important was the Commission’s failure to mention Norman Mineta’s testimony, even though it was given to the Commission in an open hearing—as can be seen by reading the transcript of that session (May 23, 2003). This portion of Mineta’s testimony was also deleted from the official version of the video record of the 9/11 Commission hearings in the 9/11 Commission archives. (It can, however, be viewed on the Internet.)
During an interview for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in 2006, Hamilton was asked what “Mineta told the Commission about where Dick Cheney was prior to 10 AM.” Hamilton replied: “I do not recall” (“9/11: Truth, Lies and Conspiracy: Interview: Lee Hamilton,” CBC News, 21 August 2006). It was surprising that Hamilton could not recall, because he had been the one doing the questioning when Mineta told the story of the young man’s conversation with Cheney. Hamilton, moreover, had begun his questioning by saying to Mineta: “You were there [in the PEOC] for a good part of the day. I think you were there with the Vice President.” And Mineta’s exchange with Timothy Roemer, during which it was established that Mineta had arrived at about 9:20, came immediately after Hamilton’s interrogation. And yet Hamilton, not being able to recall any of this, simply said, “we think that Vice President Cheney entered the bunker shortly before 10 o’clock.”
Obliterating Mineta’s Problematic Testimony
To see possible motives for the 9/11 Commission’s efforts to obliterate Mineta’s story from the public record, we need to look at the conversation he reported to the Commission. He said:
During the time that the airplane was coming in to the Pentagon, there was a young man who would come in and say to the Vice President, “The plane is 50 miles out.” “The plane is 30 miles out.” And when it got down to “the plane is 10 miles out,” the young man also said to the Vice President, “Do the orders still stand?” And the Vice President turned and whipped his neck around and said, “Of course the orders still stand. Have you heard anything to the contrary?”
Mineta’s story had dangerous implications with regard to the strike on the Pentagon, which occurred at 9:38. According to the 9/11 Commission, the military did not know that an aircraft was approaching the Pentagon until 9:36, so that it “had at most one or two minutes to react to the unidentified plane approaching Washington” (9/11CR 34). That claim was essential for explaining, among other things, why the Pentagon had not been evacuated before it was struck — a fact that resulted in 125 deaths. A spokesperson for Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, when asked why this evacuation had not occurred, said: “The Pentagon was simply not aware that this aircraft was coming our way” (Newsday, Sept. 23, 2001). Mineta’s testimony implied, by contrast, that Cheney and others knew that an aircraft was approaching Washington about 12 minutes before that strike.
Even more problematic was the question of the nature of “the orders.” Mineta assumed, he said, that they were orders to have the plane shot down. But the aircraft was not shot down. Also, the expected orders, especially on a day when two hijacked airliners had already crashed into buildings in New York, would have been to shoot down any nonmilitary aircraft entering the “prohibited” airspace over Washington, in which “civilian flying is prohibited at all times” (“Pilots Notified of Restricted Airspace; Violators Face Military Action,” FAA Press Release, September 28, 2001). If those orders had been given, there would have been no reason to ask if they still stood. The question made sense only if the orders were to do something unusual — not to shoot the aircraft down. It appeared, accordingly, that Mineta had inadvertently reported Cheney’s confirmation of stand-down orders.
That Mineta’s report was regarded as dangerous is suggested by the fact that the 9/11 Commission, besides deleting Mineta’s testimony and delaying Cheney’s entrance to the bunker by approximately 45 minutes, also replaced Mineta’s story with a new story about an incoming aircraft. According to The 9/11 Commission Report, here is what really happened:
At 10:02, the communicators in the shelter began receiving reports from the Secret Service of an inbound aircraft… At some time between 10:10 and 10:15, a military aide told the Vice President and others that the aircraft was 80 miles out. Vice President Cheney was asked for authority to engage the aircraft… The Vice President authorized fighter aircraft to engage the inbound plane… The military aide returned a few minutes later, probably between 10:12 and 10:18, and said the aircraft was 60 miles out. He again asked for authorization to engage. The Vice President again said yes. (9/11CR 41)
The 9/11 Commission thereby presented the incoming aircraft story as one that ended with an order for a shoot down, not a stand down. And by having it occur after 10:10, the Commission not only disassociated it from the Pentagon strike but also ruled out the possibility that Cheney’s shootdown authorization might have led to the downing of United Flight 93 (which crashed, according to the Commission, at 10:03).
Given the fact that the 9/11 Commission’s account of Cheney’s descent to the bunker contradicted the testimony of not only Norman Mineta but also many other witnesses, including Cheney himself, Congress and the press need to launch investigations to determine what really happened.
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About the writer:
This essay is the second in a series of articles written by Dr. David Ray Griffin for The Canadian. This particular one is an abbreviated version of Chapters 2 and 3 of Dr. Griffin’s 9/11 Contradictions: An Open Letter to Congress and the Press (Northampton: Olive Branch, March, 2008).
by Paul J Balles
Mr. Balles examines the phenomenon of suicide bombers from the socio-psychological perspective. Noting the French sociologist and philosopher Emile Durkheim’s remark that, when an individual’s needs surpass his capacity to satisfy them, “the result can only be friction, pain, lack of productivity and a general weakening of the impulse to live”, he says: “The suicide bomber, unable to develop and express his individuality under [Israeli] occupation and unable to serve his society in constructive ways, turns to a goal beyond this world.
A report on MSNBC news stipulates that “a suicide takes place somewhere around the world every 40 seconds, or nearly one million a year, and the rate looks set to surge over the next two decades”.
The report adds that suicide is a major world health problem, that it’s largely preventable. The highest suicide rates (in percentages of population) have been in former Communist states – Lithuania, Estonia, Russia, Latvia and Hungary, followed by Sri Lanka, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Slovenia and Finland.
Judging from numbers alone in 2000, the greatest incidents of suicide have occurred in China (195,000), where there are more women suicides than men; India (87,000); Russia (52,000); and the USA (31,000). While there have been suicides in Arab countries, they certainly haven’t figured among the major sufferers either in numbers or rates per 1,000.
My interest in the topic has been fuelled by a wish to discover authoritative studies about what leads a person to self-destruct. According to New Scientist Digital (8 September 2004), “Suicide kills more people each year than road traffic accidents in most European countries, the World Health Organization is warning. And, globally, suicide takes more lives than murder and war put together, says the agency in a call for action.”
The death toll from suicide at almost one million people per year accounts for half of all violent deaths worldwide, said the WHO report. It also noted, “people in Latin America, Muslim countries and a few Asian nations are least likely to die by their own hand”.
“It’s important to realise that suicide is preventable,” points out Lars Mehlum, president of the International Association for Suicide Prevention. “And that having access to the means of suicide is both an important risk factor and determinant of suicide.”
Since high self-esteem and social “connectedness” can protect against suicide, it’s logical to conclude that the absence of these factors can play an important role leading to suicide. The problem not only affects those who die at their own hands. It’s been estimated by health officials that 20 times that number have failed in their attempts to commit suicide.
The yearly costs associated with self-afflicted injuries have been estimated in the billions of dollars. As pointed out by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP), “For every suicide death there are many survivors; their lives are profoundly affected emotionally, socially and economically.”
Professor Mehlum, the president of IASP, said, “Suicidal behaviour has a large number of underlying causes which are complex and interact with one another. Factors such as living in poverty, unemployment, loss of loved ones, arguments with family or friends, legal or work-related problems are all acknowledged as risk factors when affecting those who are predisposed or otherwise especially vulnerable to self-harm.”
In a scholarly paper on “Suicide (1897)”, Robert Alun Jones reports on studies by the great French sociologist and philosopher Emile Durkheim that dealt with a whole range of topics including:
1. What is suicide?
2. Extra-social causes
3. Social causes and social types
a. Egoistic suicide
b. Altruistic suicide
c. Anomic suicide
4. Suicide as a social phenomenon
5. Critical remarks
“Suicide thus varies inversely with the degree of integration of the religious, domestic and political groups of which the individual forms a part; in short, as a society weakens or “disintegrates,” the individual depends less on the group, depends more upon himself, and recognizes no rules of conduct beyond those based upon private interests. Durkheim called this state of “excessive individualism” egoism, and the special type of self-inflicted death it produces “egoistic suicide”.
If suicides are low in Arab societies, what accounts for the increasing rates of suicide in Bahrain, especially among Indians? With the expatriate society weak and the individual independent of the group, he becomes the egoistic suicide defined by Durkheim. That certainly wouldn’t explain the suicides of the Palestinians. For this, Durkheim had another explanation:
“But if excessive individuation thus leads to suicide, so does insufficient individuation: …men on the threshold of old age, women upon the deaths of their husbands, followers and servants upon the deaths of their chiefs — in which the person kills himself because it is his duty.” Such a sacrifice, Durkheim argued, is imposed by society for social purposes; and for society to be able to do this, the individual personality must have little value, a state Durkheim called “altruism”.
Durkheim notes that “the altruist commits himself to a goal beyond this world, and henceforth this world is an obstacle and burden to him… the unhappiness of the altruist… springs from hope, faith, even enthusiasm, and affirms itself in acts of extraordinary energy”.
Those responsible for the suicide of the Palestinian bomber may know full well what their treatment of the Palestinians does to their psyches, in which case they remain entirely responsible for the deaths incurred.
To quote Durkheim again, “No living being can be happy unless its needs are sufficiently proportioned to its means; for if its needs surpass its capacity to satisfy them, the result can only be friction, pain, lack of productivity and a general weakening of the impulse to live.”
Whether they knew the outcome or not, this means that the Israeli occupation forces have themselves been responsible for the deaths made of their own sacrificial lambs that they have attributed to terrorists.
Palestinian suicide bombers have a kinship with the Romans at the time of Cato. Romans viewed suicide as a rational act, calmly undertaken, carefully planned in advance and intended for public consumption (almost entirely at odds with our modern conception of suicide).
Whereas most modern societies tend to view nearly all suicides as irrational, hastily planned and executed in a fit of passion, and usually undertaken alone, this type of suicide was the sort most deplored by the Romans, the type of suicide they sought to avoid when choosing their own deaths.
Thus Tacitus criticizes a man who leapt to his end from a building for his “sudden and undignified death” and reports that his mother was blamed and banished from Rome for 10 years. The Romans never condoned hasty, messy, irrational suicides. They haven’t been by Arabs either.
The suicide bomber, unable to develop and express his individuality under occupation and unable to serve his society in constructive ways, turns to a goal beyond this world.
Fouad Ajami U.S. News reports, “We love death,” said that quintessential merchant of death Osama bin Laden, “as much as the infidels love life.” Ajami adds, “The young homicide bomber walking into a Tel Aviv discotheque has come to serve a warrant of death on people his age whose ways he yearns for yet cannot have.”
Ajami concludes his article by saying, “…the 9/11 commission recently recommended the launching of a campaign of public diplomacy in the Muslim world. But this is illusion. For at heart, this war for Islam is one for Muslims to fight. It is for them to recover their faith from the purveyors of terror.”
Both conclusions are illusion. “Diplomacy in the Muslim world” will do nothing to change the circumstances – the sense of hopelessness imposed on the Palestinians and the oppression and humiliation of occupation felt by the Iraqis – under which the victims feel compelled to commit suicide.
The Muslim clerics that Ajami refers to as “purveyors of terror” are no more responsible for the conditions experienced by their congregations than their followers themselves are.
Neither the clerics nor their followers are fooled by the propaganda that calls the suicide bombers terrorists while ignoring the gross terrorism of occupation forces that murder, maim, destroy homes and livelihoods and instil constant fear with fighter jets, bombers, tanks, helicopter gunships and a well-armed military machine.
The propagandists may deceive their willing audiences in the West, but they don’t delude either the hopeless who have been impelled to suicide or those who feel empathy for the abject victims of oppression.
Something needs to be done about the disgusting tendency in the West to feel sorry for the victims of the victims. As Cesare Pavese has written, “No one ever lacks a good reason for suicide.” It’s time to stop bluffing and bullying and to start corrective work on the reasons.
About the writer:
Paul Balles is a retired American university professor and freelance writer who has lived in the Middle East for 35 years. For more information, see LINK.
Editorial reference, LINK
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Special to The Canadian
It was former U.S. Vice-President Al Gore who used the phrase “An Inconvenient Truth” in relation to his critically acclaimed film on Global Warming. However, it is apparent that this same phrase may also be applied to Osama bin Laden. Elites of both the U.S. Republican and Democratic parties have pledged their determination to vanquish Osama Bin Laden and his Al Qaeda “global terrorist network”.
The threat of Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda has been used to fundamentally inspire the bloating of a political-military-industrial complex to pursue a “War on Terror”. However, documented representation from credible sources suggest that Osama Bin Laden died at some time, long ago, and the idea that Al Qaeda exists as a terrorist-political network is a myth.
It was former U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower who in 1961, warned of the dangers of a machinating, and ego-driven “military-industrial complex”, as a singular threat to “freedom and democracy”. It was also Leo Strauss, who championed the importance of elites creating “unifying myths” against a common enemy.
Read more details about Osama Bin Laden. Editorial reference, LINK.
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by Traci Lawson
The idea that the on-going Iraq War is substantively an anti-terrorist operation which is designed to turn Iraq into a democracy, and bring security to Americans and the world, is propaganda, along with statements of “success” in this region which have been made by the U.S. President Obama administration. This is the kind of mass-deception that was used while Nazi Germany rounded up Jews in extermination camps. However apparent Eugenics practitioners, appreciate that similarly rounding of Muslims into such extermination camps, or using a couple of atomic bombs would overly alarm the American people, and other peoples. Instead, the Iraqis are being subjected to genocide through the well documented use of “dirty bombs” packed with more nuclear radiation results that were used against the Japanese at the end or World War II.
Over one million Iraqis have been victimized by an apparent campaign of genocide. Americans who ignore history apparently repeating itself in Iraq, are no less negligent than the Germans who turned their back on Jews, Gypsies, Slavs, and a variety of other deemed racially inferior groups.
Like Nazi Germany, America’s apparent Eugenics inspired ruling elites, have sought to create distorted presentation of the enemy so as to legitimate the spread of mass human suffering. These distortions have included monolithic presentation of “the Taliban”, the “freedom hating“ “terrorists” in Iraq, and “Iranians” as the latest target of Eugenic inspired elites, for a prospective “tactical” nuclear attack.
If American military elites were in fact, only specifically directing their military action to “weed out terrorists” rather than the whole Iraqi population, then these military elites would not have chosen to include Depleted Uranium in their military armaments.
The use of Depleted Uranium is evidence of an apparent intent to execute a Eugenics inspired “de-population” agenda. It is apparent that this de-population agenda is against both U.S. soldiers (and allied soldiers) who are largely African Americans and “poor whites” who are viewed to be of “inferior genetic stock” and a whole nation “coloured“ infidels, under the mass-deceptive pretext of targeting so-called terrorists.
Indeed, the use of Depleted Uranium “irradiates” the military personnel users of this weaponry, the immediate targets of this weaponry, and civilians hundreds of kilometres downwind and downstream from weapons that have been called “mini nuclear bombs”.
The unlawful pre-emptive attack and continued occupation of Iraq as defined by international law, constitutional law, and conventions of human rights, is the very source of a destructive political instability. The Iraq War appears to be also inspired by eugenics ideology which promotes the idea that war in a necessary part of socio-biological evolution.
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by Thahoketoteh of Kanekota, First Nations Columnist
Canada signed U.N. res. 1514 on December 14, 1960, that was the declaration for all members to end the disease of colonialism. The whole structure of the Canadian political system is colonial. The senate still holds half the power of lawmaking in Canada . Mr. Harper says he will force them to accept his new policing laws, that are a part of his new world order agenda, dictated to him from his bosses in Washington. Canada is already a police state, as anyone here on the ground can attest. What reason does Mr. Harper have for advancing the police powers? Has he asked the Canadian people what they think?
It comes right back to the 9/11 hoax that Harper’s real bosses instigated to advance their goal of making us all slaves. Genocide on a scale not seen since the Nazi nightmare, is happening in Afghanistan right now. Read this article, LINK. It is yet another, in a long line, exposing the criminals and their dastardly deeds. The Harper government acts like they are in a dictatorial role, even though they are a minority government, in the colonial system that is supposed to be gone.
The true power is in the minds of the people. The people are starting to realize this as they use their minds properly, instead of allowing others to decide for them. The mind control technologies that most western governments have adopted, is for making the people stop thinking for themselves and act like a herd being led to slaughter. The real Canadian people are waking up to this reality. When the next election happens they will put Mr. Harper back where he belongs, in the cage where he wants to put them.
There is hope for Canada to become a beacon of truth and justice. The rest of the world is looking and hoping that Canadians will arise from their slumber. Hopefully Canadians who are inspired by the re-affirmation of Canada as socially progressive inspired society will wake up the “real” American people who embrace certain democratic ideals, and stop this madness. Then the world will know peace.
Unity, Strength, Peace.
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by Sabrina Johnson
“And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation in every region now has a decision to make: Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists. From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime.” This had been former President Bush’s declaration to the world after September 11th, 2001.
In actual fact, however, this administration has exposed the undeniable hypocrisy of its “War on Terror” by granting freedom and safe haven to Luis Posada Carriles who, along with Orlando Bosch (another terrorist who was pardoned by President Bush Sr.), masterminded the first act of aviation terrorism in this hemisphere in 1976. The mid-air explosion of a Cubana commercial airliner killed all 73 people aboard. He was arrested in Venezuela and he escaped from prison during the course of his trial.
Carriles was recruited by the CIA, trained in explosives at the School of the Americas and was involved in a multitude of terrorist operations, including Operation Condor and the Iran-Contra operation in Nicaragua. From 1967 to 1975 he also worked for the DISIP (Venezuelan Intelligence Service), organizing torture sessions of Venezuelan guerrillas. In 2000 he was arrested trying to assassinate Fidel Castro with C4 explosives found in his possession, while Castro was going to give a speech at the University of Panama and, thereby, endangering the lives of all those attending. Panama’s outgoing President then pardoned him just before relocating to Miami.
In 2005, Carriles was arrested for illegally entering the U.S., although a federal judge subsequently dismissed all the charges citing the government’s translator’s erroneous interpretation of Posada’s naturalization interview. Venezuela’s request to have him extradited has been denied and the Bush administration also refuses to refer to him as a terrorist, even though he is responsible for nearly 100 murders.
According to international law, if a country chooses not to extradite a terrorist, it has to try him under terrorist charges, in its own courts and this is something else that the U.S. has refused to do. By contrast, the U.S. government has had no problem incarcerating five Cuban men, who selflessly risked their lives by infiltrating well-documented terrorist groups, in order to prevent terrorist attacks against Cuba and its people.
Gerardo Hernández, Fernando Gonzalez, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero and René Gonzalez (also referred to as the ‘Cuban 5’) have just begun serving their 10th year of imprisonment this past September 12th. They are very familiar with the effects of terrorism, considering that Cuba has been the target of constant terrorist attacks planned, financed and organized on U.S. soil by extreme right-wing Cuban-exile organizations, since 1959, which caused the deaths of 3478 people (including a resident of Montreal, Fabio de Celmo) and permanent injuries to 2099 persons.
Some of these attacks have consisted of: the burning of vast sugar cane and vegetable fields, attacks against the Cuban Consulate in New York, the Cuban Embassy in the Dominican Republic, the Cuban Ambassador to Haiti, the Cuban Consul in Miami, the offices of the ‘Revolución’, ‘La Calle’ and ‘Bohemia’ newspapers, the Cuban Embassy in Caracas, the Cuban Embassy in Peru, the National Revolutionary Police, hijacking of planes and boats, burning of schools, sabotage of factories, of drinking water reservoirs, of train tracks, aerial bombings of Cuban cities, attacks on civilians’ homes, bombing of a French transport ship in the Havana port (killing 101 and wounding more than 200), bombing of a supermarket, movie theatres and hotels, assassinations and the bombing in mid-air of a Cubana commercial airliner, killing all 73 civilians on board.
Sadly, this list is only an introduction of the years of terrorism suffered by the Cuban people at the hands of groups such as Commandos F4, Brigade 2506, CORU, CANF, MIRR, Omega 7 and Alpha 66, just to name a few. It should be noted that the assistance of U.S. authorities in prosecuting the individuals involved has been non-existent, though financial assistance provided by U.S. government agencies has often found its way to these terrorist organizations.
The Cuban Five posed no danger to the national security of the U.S. or to any individual. In fact, there were no weapons and not a single page of U.S. classified information found, at the time of their arrest. Nonetheless, they were arrested and placed in solitary confinement for 17 months. Everything that was seized as evidence, was immediately rendered ‘classified’ by the authorities and, as a result, the defence lawyers didn’t have access to most of the evidence while preparing the Five’s defence. The defence requested a change of venue, due to Miami’s rampant anti-Cuba political bias and this request was denied.
The actual terrorists were never arrested, even though Cuban authorities had provided the FBI with detailed information on these groups’ activities, samples of confiscated explosives, contact information, recorded conversations and more, some time prior to the Five’s arrest.
The Cuban Five were sentenced to a total of four life sentences plus 77 years, for “conspiracy to commit espionage” and “conspiracy to commit murder”, even though no proof was presented documenting either charge (for all the details on the case, see LINK). They have been serving their sentences in five different prisons scattered across the U.S., and the wives of René and Gerardo have not seen their husbands since their arrest, due to the U.S. continuously denying their visa requests to visit them.
For the first time in U.S. history, three appeals have been made and we are now awaiting the result of the third hearing, which took place this past August 20th. A press release from the Cuban 5’s defence shortly after the hearing stated:
“…the Defense, demonstrated irrefutably that the improper conduct of the Government during the entire legal process against the five constituted a flagrant violation of due process that influenced the entire proceeding…Other key arguments of the Defense that demonstrate the arbitrariness of the process is lack of evidence to sustain the two main accusations “conspiracy to commit espionage and conspiracy to commit murder in the first degree” and the imposition of completely irrational and unjustifiable life sentences…Throughout the tainted process the Government admitted that its real concern was to protect the anti-Cuban terrorist groups that operate with total immunity in Miami and to punish those who fight against them.”
One of the biggest difficulties has been getting the information out to the public, due to the media wall of silence around this case.
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by Kevin Ryan
In early November 2007, I had a chance to debate the issue of 9/11 Truth on the Thom Hartmann radio show, with an avowed supporter of the official story, Skeptic magazine’s Michael Shermer. It was an interesting experience, and some good information was communicated, although the format did not allow for a detailed discussion. One thing this debate did reveal was the need for true scepticism in our society.
I was aware that it took months for Hartmann’s producer to find a legitimate defender of the official version of 9/11. Apparently those who knew something of the official story would not publicly support it, and those who would publicly support that official story didn’t know anything about it. That fact in itself is a testament to the progress made by the 9/11 Truth Movement over the last few years.
But in September, after receiving an unsolicited email from Shermer, I invited him to join me for the Hartmann debate. From Skeptic magazine’s “9/11 Conspiracies” issue last year, it was clear that Shermer was not aware of many of the facts about 9/11 either. But he was well known for his stance on the issue, and I felt this was a chance to follow-up on Hartmann’s offer. With that in mind, I approached the debate carefully, with respect for my opponent, the audience and the host.
It didn’t take long during to understand Shermer’s position on 9/11. He did not bother with facts about the events themselves, and appeared to be motivated only through a “monster under the bed” perception of “conspiracy theories”. Even after admitting that the official version of events is itself a conspiracy theory, he maintained that conspiracy among oil company executives and politicians is somehow unbelievable, while conspiracy solely among people who just happen to live on the last remaining oil-rich land is to be expected.
Additionally, Shermer’s performance showed that he is not what most people would call a sceptic, at least not in matters that are important to people. I had suspected this myself, and had to check the definition of scepticism to be sure. What I found was that scepticism is about questioning claims that are generally accepted, or are given by supposedly authoritative sources. Skeptics are not people who simply take contradictory positions without regard for evidence, however, and after rational discussion sceptics usually agree with the case that best fits the evidence.
On several issues, Shermer has taken a decidedly non-sceptical approach. The events of 9/11 are one example, and global warming is another. It took him years to come around on the issue of global warming, even after the IPCC had satisfied nearly all scientists with their assessment of the situation in 2001. Shermer continued as a leading sceptic of global warming, telling us not to worry about it, until his well-publicized “flipping point” in 2006. It seems his scepticism might have more to do with business interests than it has to do with reason.
At the start of our debate, Shermer responded to my scepticism about the history of al Qaeda by suggesting that our government gets in bed with bad people all the time. At that point, I wasn’t sure whose side of the debate he was on. But it soon became clear that Shermer was only ready to talk about the demolition hypothesis, and then only in the sense that he wanted me to prove that hypothesis. Although I could have given more detailed evidence, it was gratifying to know that this last remaining, relatively legitimate defender of the official story had only a few points of unsubstantiated speculation to support his supposedly reasoned scepticism.
Shermer was clearly not sceptical of any of the claims made by the only authoritative source on the topic, the current U.S. government. He had no response when I asked how each and every member of the U.S. chain of command could have been indisposed for just those two hours on September 11th, or how al Qaeda could have been behind the effective stand-down of the nation’s air defences during that time. He could not say why the 9/11 Commission left so many of the most important facts out of their report, or what it meant for U.S. government scientists to finally admit that they could not explain the “collapse” of the Twin Towers. His final plea was that we just accept that al Qaeda did it because they said they did it, and we should take them at their word.
This strange approach to scepticism is a good example of the growing attempt by corporate media representatives (Shermer also works for FOX TV) to convince us to believe the opposite of what we see and hear. We’re told that the best way to stop terrorism is to start endless wars in the Middle East, and the best way to protect our freedoms is to give up our freedoms and, paradoxically, anyone who questions the government’s conspiracy theory is a “conspiracy theorist”.
Within that kind of framework, some people might really believe that Michael Shermer is a sceptic. But what we find is that Sceptic magazine is not skeptical of things that matter to people today, like electronic voting machines or media consolidation. Instead, this publication aims to protect us from “bad ideas” like the possibility of UFOs, or the belief in God. Shermer must know that if people are really going to be skeptical, they will be so about authoritative claims that affect their lives in serious ways, like the rationale behind the “War on Terror”. And as I said during the debate, the absurd attempts to keep people from questioning 9/11 have so far amounted to just so much speculative distraction.
The truth is that there is no aspect of the official story that cannot be severely criticized, or shown to be completely false. Two reports, one from the 9/11 Commission and one from a branch of the U.S. Department of Commerce, known as NIST, constitute the official version of events for 9/11. And both of these reports are riddled with inconsistencies and outright falsehoods.[3, 4] Additionally, we know that many involved in producing those reports had serious conflicts of interest.[5, 6, 7]
In the end Shermer and I did agree on one thing, and that is that the truth is likely to be simple. His version of simple, however, is that terrorism is about astoundingly lucky acts of random vengeance, with the Gods of Science turning a few blind eyes here and there. On the other hand, to me the simple truth is more likely to be that terrorism is a co-opted tool, used by a powerful few to help secure their strategic interests. In any case, when such truth becomes not only simple, but also obvious, we need to start being truly sceptical.
 Air America/Thom Hartman 9/11 Truth Debate: Kevin Ryan vs. Michael Shermer, MP3 found at Portland Independent Media Center, LINK
 Michael Shermer, The Flipping Point, Scientific American, June 2006, LINK
 David Ray Griffin, The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions (Northampton: Interlink Books, 2005). Griffin summarizes the omissions and distortions in “The 9/11 Commission Report: A 571-Page Lie,” 911 Visibility Project, May 22, 2005 LINK.
 Kevin Ryan, What is 9/11 Truth? – The First Steps, Journal of 911 Studies, August 2006, PDF LINK.
 911Research.com, The Kean Commission: The Official Commission Avoids the Core Issues, LINK
 911Truth.org, 9/11 Commission: The official coverup guide, LINK
 Kevin Ryan, Looking for Truth in Credentials, GlobalResearch.ca, March 13, 2007, LINK
About the writer:
Kevin Ryan is co-editor of the Journal of 9/11 Studies, LINK and the former Site Manager for Underwriters Laboratories in South Bend, Indiana.
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by Edward C. Corrigan, Independent Editorialist
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in his government’s Throne Speech had announced that he wanted to extend Canada’s participation in the Afghan War for another two years. Many people are still asking why are we in Afghanistan and for what purpose are our soldiers dying? What are the other costs to Canadians?
The Conservative Government of Stephen Harper is attempting to portray the Afghan war as “a humanitarian mission” while continuing to fight against Afghans who are resisting what they see as “foreign invaders.” I wonder how Canadians would see American, Russian or Chinese soldiers who invaded our country, over threw an unpopular government, killed tens of thousands, wounded many thousands more, caused wanton destruction and massive environmental damage. Even if they claimed that they were bringing “democracy to Canada” I do not believe that most Canadians would be impressed.
The recent poll published in the Globe and Mail showed that Afghans want the fighting to end, and they support negotiations with the Taliban. The Globe and Mail said; “Despite the enmity toward the Taliban, 74 per cent [of Afghans] said they supported negotiations between the Karzai government and Taliban representatives as a way of reducing conflict. In Kandahar, support for talks jumped to 85 per cent.”
But what is the cost of the war in Afghanistan to Canadians? The deaths of 71 soldiers and a diplomat are fairly well known? The financial costs are less well known. According to one study published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, the “full cost” of the Afghan war to Canada will be $7.2 billion by March 2008. This works out to more than $100 million every month. What could Canada do with $7.2 billion dollars? How could this money benefit our health care system, to help alleviate poverty, provide tax relief or be used in the fight against global warming?
One aspect of the war that is rarely discussed is the impact of exposure of our own soldiers, not to mention the civilian population in Afghanistan and Iraq, to toxic substances.
In the first Iraq War in 1991 causalities reported killed and wounded numbered less than 800. However, in 2001 the United States Veterans Affairs Department officially recognized 159,000 U.S. Desert Storm soldiers as being disabled and another 60,000 becoming disabled in Gulf service after the 1991 war. The 2001 report also noted that 8,000 Gulf War vets had already died.
The numbers are staggering. These figures are from 2001 and the rates for cancers and other illnesses can only go up. They are the 220,000 causalities from the First Iraq War virtually no one talks about.
At the end of December 2001 U.S. Army reports were released that suggested one cause for Gulf War illnesses was low level exposure to sarin nerve gas. The gas was released into the air when the U.S. military improperly blew up Iraqi chemical weapons sites in 1991.
The other suspected cause for “Gulf War Syndrome” is Depleted Uranium or DU. Major Doug Rokke (Ret.) who has a Ph.D served as health physicist for the U.S. Army Depleted Uranium Assessment team in Iraq. He directed development of radiation and safety education and field procedures at the Bradley Radiological Laboratories. He now has a 40% army disability because the uranium in his urine is 5,000 times the permissible level. He also has trouble breathing.
In 1991 his team was brought in to cleanup contamination caused when U.S. troops fired DU weapons accidentally against their fellow U.S. troops (“friendly fire” casualties). DU is basically reprocessed nuclear waste. His containment team went into smashed up tanks without radiological protective suits. Within 72 hours they were getting sick, had respiratory problems and rashes that bled. Over the years many team members died. Dr. Rokke says they were abandoned by the US Defense Department. Rokke himself was fired from his job at Bradley Labs in 1996 after he wrote a report saying the US Army had huge liability for contamination at an US army base in Alabama. (See Pdf. file LINK).
The Veterans Affairs Department has awarded disability to 60,000 soldiers who went into the Gulf countries after the war was over. Two thousand of these Gulf War “theater” veterans have died. This is very alarming. It means that the Gulf area (Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia) is still highly contaminated.
The chief suspect again is DU, “depleted uranium.” Rokke says the name is a mistake. “There’s nothing depleted about it.” He says the dangerous “alpha proportion” actually goes up in the processing. More than 900,000 DU projectiles were fired during the first Gulf War. When the weapons hit, about half of the uranium was released as tiny particles. The radioactive particles will last for billions of years.
Looking for a quick victory and low body count the U.S. military fought the first Gulf War without regard to the long term effects of exposure to DU and other environmental hazards on its own soldiers. The US Military liked the cheapness and great penetrating power of the DU shells so it made a political decision to downplay the risk of uranium poisoning. (For much more info on DU, LINK).
Now another generation of U.S., Canadian and British soldiers are being sent to war by politicians, most of whom who never have been in combat, into what is a toxic waste land. These soldiers are very likely going to pay a very steep price for fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. The future health costs and law suits are going to be very expensive and the human cost in pain and suffering incalculable.
In a more recent study it is reported that more than 73,000 US Military service men have died since the First Gulf War. These figures do not include Iraqi civilian deaths estimated at more than one million in the First Iraq War and the period of sanctions and an additional 1.2 million in the current war in Iraq. Over 20,000 civilians have been killed in the War in Afghanistan.
The United States Department of Veteran’s Affairs, in conjunction with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in May 2007 released figures which reveal “the true cost of the War against Iraq and Afghanistan.” According to the report more Gulf War veterans have died than the number of US soldiers killed in Vietnam.
The Department of Veterans Affairs, May 2007, Gulf War Veterans Information System reported the following: Total U.S. Military Gulf War Deaths Since Gulf War One: 73,846; Deaths amongst Deployed: 17,847; Deaths amongst Non-Deployed Veterans: 55,999. Total “Undiagnosed Illness” (UDX) claims: 14,874. Total number of disability claims filed: 1,620,906. Disability Claims amongst Deployed: 407,911 Disability Claims amongst Non-Deployed Veterans: 1,212,995. Percentage of combat troops that filed Disability Claims 36%.
Soldiers, by nature, are generally not complainers. The real impact of those who are disabled from the U.S. invasions of Iraq, Afghanistan and other nations, is not fully reflected in the official Veterans Affairs numbers. Many soldiers suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and other psychiatric aliments due to their war time activities and many are never able to live normal lives.
The official U.S. government numbers, as of October 25, 2007, of deaths due to the War in Iraq is 3,838 with 28,171 reported as wounded.
Apparently the Bush administration does not want the 73,000 dead veterans to be compared to the 55,000 U.S. soldiers killed in Vietnam. What the Bush Administration is doing is counting only the soldiers that die directly in action in Iraq or Afghanistan. Injured soldiers are quickly taken out of the war zone for medical treatment. Any soldier who is shot in the war but is removed from the war zone before they die is not counted as a causality of the war.
The 73,843 dead amongst the U.S. soldiers for this scale of operation in Iraq and using weapons of mass destruction is proportionately not that high. However, according to one source, “they expect the great majority of U.S. soldiers who took part in the invasion of Iraq to die of uranium poisoning, which can take decades to kill. From a victors perspective, above any major war in history, the Gulf War has taken the severest toll on soldiers.”
According to reports more than 1,820 tons of radioactive nuclear waste uranium were exploded into Iraq alone in the form of armour piercing rounds and bunker busters, representing the world’s worst man made ecological disaster ever. To compare 64 kg of uranium was used in the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima. The U.S. Iraq Nuclear contamination represents more than fourteen thousand Hiroshima’s. It has been suggested that the nuclear waste the U.S. has exploded into the Middle East will continue killing for billions of years and could possibly wipe out more than a third of life on the planet. Gulf War Veterans who have ingested the uranium will continue to die off over the next few decades from cancers and other horrific diseases.
Birth defects are up 600% in Iraq. Being exposed to the same radioactive contamination we can expect a massive increase in birth defects in the children of U.S. veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Our Canadian soldiers are being exposed to the same radioactive contamination and other environmental hazards.
This information is not being addressed in the North American mainstream media. However, this information is readily available on the United States Department of Veteran’s Affairs, LINK. The financial cost of the U.S. war against Iraq and Afghanistan is also staggering. A recent U.S. Congressional study estimates the cost for U.S. war in Iraq and Afghanistan at $2.4 trillion through the next decade. The report says the United States has already spent 604 billion dollars on the so-called “War on Terror.” U.S. President George W. Bush has asked for $196.4 billion for war-related operations for the 2007-2008 budget year.
The question that needs to be asked is what is spending all of these billions of dollars accomplishing. According to Lord Ashdown, “NATO has ‘lost in Afghanistan’ and its failure to bring stability there could provoke a regional sectarian war ‘on a grand scale.” Lord Ashdown is the former leader of the British Liberal Democrats and a highly respected British political figure. He is also the former United Nations High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina. Ashdown delivered his dire prediction after being proposed as a new “super envoy” for Afghanistan.
Lord Ashdown’s pessimistic assessment of the war in Afghanistan is shared by Great Britain’s Chief of Defence Staff, Sir Jock Stirrup. He recently has said the military cannot resolve the situation in Afghanistan alone. The Chief of Britain’s Armed Forces warned “that British troops could remain in Afghanistan for “decades.” He also said that even then the conflict will only be resolved by a political deal – after talks with Taliban leaders.”
Is Stephen Harper’s Afghanistan war the kind of war that Canadians want? We need to very loudly ask our political leaders why are we fighting a war in Afghanistan?