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Ponzi World (Over 3 Billion NOT Served): The Last Empire: Protecting the Ponzi Scheme

Ponzi World (Over 3 Billion NOT Served): The Last Empire: Protecting the Ponzi Scheme.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Last Empire: Protecting the Ponzi Scheme

No one trusts the U.S. government. Even Americans don’t trust the U.S. government.

The darkest form of evil always comes falsely packaged as something “good”…

This Ukraine situation shows that NeoCon buffoons still haven’t given up running around telling the world how to run its local affairs. They still somehow believe that Uncle Sam is the last defender of “Freedom” (that’s trademarked *freedom*, not to be confused with the real version). You have to laugh. The only morons who believe that bullshit are the ever-dwindling number of demented geriatrics who haven’t stepped outside the U.S. in the past 50 years and have been watching Faux News 24×7. The NSA situation of course is just the latest example proving that the U.S. government doesn’t respect the rights of its own citizens much less people outside of the U.S. Therefore, trust plays no part in this entire equation.
Uncle Sam’s credibility in overseas matters has been systematically squandered over the course of decades:
Iran
– The CIA orchestrated a coup of Iran’s democratically elected government in order to reinstall the Western-aligned Shah of Iran, at the behest of the oil industry (aka. British Petroleum)
 
“In 1953 the United States played a significant role in orchestrating the overthrow of Iran’s popular Prime Minister, Mohammad Mosaddegh. The Eisenhower Administration believed its actions were justified for strategic reasons; but the coup was clearly a setback for Iran’s political development. And it is easy to see now why many Iranians continue to resent this intervention by America in their internal affairs.”[14]
 
Vietnam:
– Carpet bombing women and children for 10 years straight using cluster bombs, napalm, Agent Orange and every other unholy device invented by the Pentagon, all to support the corrupt crony capitalist South
– Then, cut and run in 1975. A colossal waste of human life, money and environmental resources.
Iraq
Pre-Gulf War
– First install Saddam Hussein
– Support him throughout the Iran War, providing him with access to chemical weapons
Post Gulf War/Iraq Invasion
– Hang him for atrocities he committed during the 1980s while supported by the U.S.
Afghanistan
Pre 9/11:
– Assist the Mujahadeen to drive out the Soviets
– Support Bin Laden
– Support the Taliban
 Post 9/11
– 180 degree reversal
Here is a Who’s who of despotic and oppressive regimes supported by the U.S. government, in addition to the above:
Highlights:
Pinochet, Chile
Batista, Cuba
Marcos, Philippines
Mobuto Seso Seke, Congo
Saudi Government
Mubarak, Egypt
Noriega, Panama
(Too many to list), Pakistan
It goes on and on, the full list is here. It would be easier to list the crony capitalist dictators NOT supported by the U.S., because I don’t know that there are any. 
To Serve and Protect Multinational Corporations
All of this is not to say that Russia doesn’t support despotic regimes as well, not the least being its own. And the Chinese government makes no apology that they will support literally any government anywhere as long as it supports their economic interests. However, the speciously packaged lies and fantasy narrative underlying the NeoCon “Pax Americana” policy are mass delusional, bordering on psychotic. Pretending to be the exact opposite of one’s true intentions is the deepest form of evil. Had they just come out and declared their true agenda i.e. to extend and protect multinational corporate interests in every corner of the globe, the NeoCons would not have commanded any more respect, however, they would at least have a vestige of credibility. Today, they have neither. 
Might is Right
The Faux News sponsored policy may well be “Pax Americana”, but the reality-based policy is the velvet fist known as “Might is Right”. Of course, everyone knows that, except for the self-delusional NeoCon psychopaths running around still pretending otherwise.

The Big Secret Behind the CIA-Congressional Battle Washington’s Blog

The Big Secret Behind the CIA-Congressional Battle Washington’s Blog.

What You DON’T KNOW About CIA Fight with Congress

You’ve heard that there’s a big battle between the CIA and Congress over the CIA spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee’s review of documents related to the Bush-era torture program.

Many are calling it a “constitutional crisis“. House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa calls it potential “treason“.

The congress members complaining about spying by the CIA are right, of course.

But they are hypocrites. Specifically, these same congress members  didn’t raise a peep when the government was spying on the people … and instead defended the government’s mass surveillance at every opportunity.

There are hundreds of thousands of Google hits for the search term “Hypocrisy CIA Senate Feinstein“.

High-level NSA whistleblower Bill BinneyEdward Snowden, a very high-level former CIA officer, aformer FBI agent and many others are all slamming Congress for the hypocrisy

Even Jon Stewart has lambasted them:

(And this isn’t the first time that Congress has been hypocritical when the spying was turned against them personally.)

A corrupt CIA is certainly part of the problem.   After all, the same guy who was the lawyer for the CIA torture unit – and who was mentioned 1,600 times in the Senate intelligence report on torture – is now the chief counsel for the CIA … the guy working so hard to make sure the torture report is never released. (He was also involved in the destruction of tapes documenting CIA torture … discussed more fully below).

And don’t let Obama fool you: The White House is a big part of the problem as well.

Obama has for years prevented the Senate Intelligence report on torture – what the CIA’s spying is all about – from being declassified.

Glenn Greenwald tweets:

Could someone remind me who appointed [CIA director] John Brennan and to whom he reports? Having trouble finding it in most discussions ….

Obama appointed current CIA-director John Brennan, who – before the appointment – had expressly endorsed torture, assassination of unidentified strangers (including Americans) without due process, and spying on all Americans, and got caught in numerous lies related to national security and defense.   (Indeed, Brennan insisted that he be sworn in with a copy of the Constitution which didn’t include the Bill of Rights.)

The White House has also withheld 9,400 documents from the Senate’s CIA torture investigation. McClatchy reports:

The White House has been withholding for five years more than 9,000 top-secret documents sought by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence for its investigation into the now-defunct CIA detention and interrogation program, even though President Barack Obama hasn’t exercised a claim of executive privilege.

In contrast to public assertions that it supports the committee’s work, the White House has ignored or rejected offers in multiple meetings and in letters to find ways for the committee to review the records, a McClatchy investigation has found.

And Senator Mark Udall said that Obama knew about the CIA’s spying on Congress.

Not Just the CIA … And Not a New Problem

But it’s not just the CIA.   And there has been a constitutional crisis for a long time.

For example, the FBI collected files on everyone.  As the New York Times reports:

J. Edgar Hoover compiled secret dossiers on the sexual peccadillos and private misbehavior of those he labeled as enemies — really dangerous people like … President John F. Kennedy, for example.

The NSA has been spying on – and intimidating – its “overseers” in Washington.  Indeed, the NSA spied on anti-war Congress members in the 1970s … including the chair of the Congressional Committee investigating illegal NSA spying.

One of the NSA  whistleblower sources for the big 2005 New York Times exposé on illegal spying – Russel Tice – says that the NSA illegally spied on General Petraeus and other generals, Supreme Court Justice Alito and all of the other supreme court justices, the White House spokesman, and many other top officials.

The Washington Times reported in 2006 that – when Tice offered to testify to Congress about this illegal spying – he was informed by the NSA that the Senate and House intelligence committees were not cleared to hear such information:

Renee Seymour, director of NSA special access programs stated in a Jan. 9 letter to Russ Tice that he should not testify about secret electronic intelligence programs because members and staff of the House and Senate intelligence committees do not have the proper security clearances for the secret intelligence.

(And see this.)

Former high-level NSA executive Bill Binney points out how absurd that statement is:

Russ Tice … was prepared to testify to Congress to this, too, and so NSA sent him a letter saying, we agree that you have a right to go to Congress to testify, but we have to advise you that the intelligence committees that you want to testify to are not cleared for the programs you want to speak about. Now, that fundamentally is an open admission … by NSA that they are violating the intelligence acts of 1947 and 1978, which require NSA and all other intelligence agencies to notify Congress of all the programs that they’re running so they can have effective oversight, which they’ve never had anyway.

Binney confirmed to Washington’s Blog:

The violations of law and the constitution are being openly admitted by both Congress and the NSA.

The Other Story Getting Lost In the Shuffle

And there’s another story getting lost in the shuffle …

Sure, the top independent interrogation experts say that torture is ineffective … and actually harmsnational security. You’ve probably already heard arguments one way or the other on this issue, and likely have made up your mind about it.

But remember, the torture used by the U.S. on the Guantanamo suspects was of a “special” type.

Specifically, Senator Levin revealed that the the U.S. used Communist torture techniques specifically aimed at creating false confessions. And see these important reports from McClatchyNew York TimesCNN and Huffington Post.

In other words, we’re not just talking about torture.  We’re talking about deploying a special type of torture in order to get FALSE confessions.

In addition, the Atlantic notes:

America is likely to torture again, if we aren’t doing it already.

(And see this and this.)

A related part of this underreported story is that the CIA’s torture program ended up deceiving the 9/11 Commission. Specifically, the 9/11 Commission Report was largely based on third-hand accountsof what tortured detainees said, with two of the three parties in the communication being government employees. The 9/11 Commissioners were not allowed to speak with the detainees, or even their interrogators. Instead, they got their information third-hand. The Commission itself didn’t really trust the interrogation testimony… yet published it as if it were Gospel.

New York Times investigative reporter Philip Shenon noted in a 2009 essay in Newsweek that the 9/11 Commission Report was unreliable because most of the information was based on the statements of tortured detainees.

NBC News reported:

  • Much of the 9/11 Commission Report was based upon the testimony of people who were tortured
  • At least four of the people whose interrogation figured in the 9/11 Commission Report have claimed that they told interrogators information as a way to stop being “tortured.”
  • One of the Commission’s main sources of information was tortured until he agreed to sign a confession that he was NOT EVEN ALLOWED TO READ
  • The 9/11 Commission itself doubted the accuracy of the torture confessions, and yet kept their doubts to themselves

And the CIA videotaped the interrogation of 9/11 suspects, but falsely told the 9/11 Commission that there were no videotapes or other records of the interrogations, and then illegally destroyed all of the tapes and transcripts of the interrogations. (As discussed above, the current head CIA lawyer helped to destroy the tapes.)

9/11 Commission co-chairs Thomas Keane and Lee Hamilton wrote:

Those who knew about those videotapes — and did not tell us about them — obstructed our investigation.

***

Government officials decided not to inform a lawfully constituted body, created by Congress and the president, to investigate one the greatest tragedies to confront this country. We call that obstruction.

In other words,  we’ve got a rogue government.  That’s the big story behind the CIA-congressional battle.

The Big Secret Behind the CIA-Congressional Battle Washington's Blog

The Big Secret Behind the CIA-Congressional Battle Washington’s Blog.

What You DON’T KNOW About CIA Fight with Congress

You’ve heard that there’s a big battle between the CIA and Congress over the CIA spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee’s review of documents related to the Bush-era torture program.

Many are calling it a “constitutional crisis“. House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa calls it potential “treason“.

The congress members complaining about spying by the CIA are right, of course.

But they are hypocrites. Specifically, these same congress members  didn’t raise a peep when the government was spying on the people … and instead defended the government’s mass surveillance at every opportunity.

There are hundreds of thousands of Google hits for the search term “Hypocrisy CIA Senate Feinstein“.

High-level NSA whistleblower Bill BinneyEdward Snowden, a very high-level former CIA officer, aformer FBI agent and many others are all slamming Congress for the hypocrisy

Even Jon Stewart has lambasted them:

(And this isn’t the first time that Congress has been hypocritical when the spying was turned against them personally.)

A corrupt CIA is certainly part of the problem.   After all, the same guy who was the lawyer for the CIA torture unit – and who was mentioned 1,600 times in the Senate intelligence report on torture – is now the chief counsel for the CIA … the guy working so hard to make sure the torture report is never released. (He was also involved in the destruction of tapes documenting CIA torture … discussed more fully below).

And don’t let Obama fool you: The White House is a big part of the problem as well.

Obama has for years prevented the Senate Intelligence report on torture – what the CIA’s spying is all about – from being declassified.

Glenn Greenwald tweets:

Could someone remind me who appointed [CIA director] John Brennan and to whom he reports? Having trouble finding it in most discussions ….

Obama appointed current CIA-director John Brennan, who – before the appointment – had expressly endorsed torture, assassination of unidentified strangers (including Americans) without due process, and spying on all Americans, and got caught in numerous lies related to national security and defense.   (Indeed, Brennan insisted that he be sworn in with a copy of the Constitution which didn’t include the Bill of Rights.)

The White House has also withheld 9,400 documents from the Senate’s CIA torture investigation. McClatchy reports:

The White House has been withholding for five years more than 9,000 top-secret documents sought by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence for its investigation into the now-defunct CIA detention and interrogation program, even though President Barack Obama hasn’t exercised a claim of executive privilege.

In contrast to public assertions that it supports the committee’s work, the White House has ignored or rejected offers in multiple meetings and in letters to find ways for the committee to review the records, a McClatchy investigation has found.

And Senator Mark Udall said that Obama knew about the CIA’s spying on Congress.

Not Just the CIA … And Not a New Problem

But it’s not just the CIA.   And there has been a constitutional crisis for a long time.

For example, the FBI collected files on everyone.  As the New York Times reports:

J. Edgar Hoover compiled secret dossiers on the sexual peccadillos and private misbehavior of those he labeled as enemies — really dangerous people like … President John F. Kennedy, for example.

The NSA has been spying on – and intimidating – its “overseers” in Washington.  Indeed, the NSA spied on anti-war Congress members in the 1970s … including the chair of the Congressional Committee investigating illegal NSA spying.

One of the NSA  whistleblower sources for the big 2005 New York Times exposé on illegal spying – Russel Tice – says that the NSA illegally spied on General Petraeus and other generals, Supreme Court Justice Alito and all of the other supreme court justices, the White House spokesman, and many other top officials.

The Washington Times reported in 2006 that – when Tice offered to testify to Congress about this illegal spying – he was informed by the NSA that the Senate and House intelligence committees were not cleared to hear such information:

Renee Seymour, director of NSA special access programs stated in a Jan. 9 letter to Russ Tice that he should not testify about secret electronic intelligence programs because members and staff of the House and Senate intelligence committees do not have the proper security clearances for the secret intelligence.

(And see this.)

Former high-level NSA executive Bill Binney points out how absurd that statement is:

Russ Tice … was prepared to testify to Congress to this, too, and so NSA sent him a letter saying, we agree that you have a right to go to Congress to testify, but we have to advise you that the intelligence committees that you want to testify to are not cleared for the programs you want to speak about. Now, that fundamentally is an open admission … by NSA that they are violating the intelligence acts of 1947 and 1978, which require NSA and all other intelligence agencies to notify Congress of all the programs that they’re running so they can have effective oversight, which they’ve never had anyway.

Binney confirmed to Washington’s Blog:

The violations of law and the constitution are being openly admitted by both Congress and the NSA.

The Other Story Getting Lost In the Shuffle

And there’s another story getting lost in the shuffle …

Sure, the top independent interrogation experts say that torture is ineffective … and actually harmsnational security. You’ve probably already heard arguments one way or the other on this issue, and likely have made up your mind about it.

But remember, the torture used by the U.S. on the Guantanamo suspects was of a “special” type.

Specifically, Senator Levin revealed that the the U.S. used Communist torture techniques specifically aimed at creating false confessions. And see these important reports from McClatchyNew York TimesCNN and Huffington Post.

In other words, we’re not just talking about torture.  We’re talking about deploying a special type of torture in order to get FALSE confessions.

In addition, the Atlantic notes:

America is likely to torture again, if we aren’t doing it already.

(And see this and this.)

A related part of this underreported story is that the CIA’s torture program ended up deceiving the 9/11 Commission. Specifically, the 9/11 Commission Report was largely based on third-hand accountsof what tortured detainees said, with two of the three parties in the communication being government employees. The 9/11 Commissioners were not allowed to speak with the detainees, or even their interrogators. Instead, they got their information third-hand. The Commission itself didn’t really trust the interrogation testimony… yet published it as if it were Gospel.

New York Times investigative reporter Philip Shenon noted in a 2009 essay in Newsweek that the 9/11 Commission Report was unreliable because most of the information was based on the statements of tortured detainees.

NBC News reported:

  • Much of the 9/11 Commission Report was based upon the testimony of people who were tortured
  • At least four of the people whose interrogation figured in the 9/11 Commission Report have claimed that they told interrogators information as a way to stop being “tortured.”
  • One of the Commission’s main sources of information was tortured until he agreed to sign a confession that he was NOT EVEN ALLOWED TO READ
  • The 9/11 Commission itself doubted the accuracy of the torture confessions, and yet kept their doubts to themselves

And the CIA videotaped the interrogation of 9/11 suspects, but falsely told the 9/11 Commission that there were no videotapes or other records of the interrogations, and then illegally destroyed all of the tapes and transcripts of the interrogations. (As discussed above, the current head CIA lawyer helped to destroy the tapes.)

9/11 Commission co-chairs Thomas Keane and Lee Hamilton wrote:

Those who knew about those videotapes — and did not tell us about them — obstructed our investigation.

***

Government officials decided not to inform a lawfully constituted body, created by Congress and the president, to investigate one the greatest tragedies to confront this country. We call that obstruction.

In other words,  we’ve got a rogue government.  That’s the big story behind the CIA-congressional battle.

It’s Time To Rethink 911 | Press For Truth

It’s Time To Rethink 911 | Press For Truth.

March 01, 2014

This September the 11th 2014 will mark the 13th anniversary of the attacks of 9/11/01 and since that day the world has changed in ways that we can never have imagined. The NSA is spying on us, our police operate like militarized thugs and multiple wars are both ongoing and on the brink of breaking out in the middle east and this was all made possible because of the false flag operation that was 911. A campaign called “rethink 911″ was launched in an effort to educate the public about the events that transpired on that day with the goal of gaining support for a new investigation. The campaign has gained global attention and in an effort to continue raising awareness Dan Dicks of Press For Truth recently interviewed film and television actor Ed Asner about the use of false flag operations by the US government. Dan also spoke with the former Premier of British Columbia Bill Vander Zalm about the need for transparency in government. Scientist and nano-chemistry expert Niels Harrit also joins the conversation as well as Richard Gage, founder of Architects and Engineers for 911 Truth.

Support independent media by making a contribution:
Donate through Paypal

For more info on the Rethink911 campaign and for tour info visit Rethink911.org

Watch “The Toronto Hearings on 911″

Get “The Toronto Hearings on 911″ on DVD

Produced by Dan Dicks of Press For Truth “The Toronto Hearings on 911″ documents when in 2011, experts and scientists from around the world gathered in Toronto, Canada to present new and established evidence that questions the official story of 9/11. This evidence was presented to a distinguished panel of experts over a 4 day period.
Through their analysis and scientific investigations, they hope to spark a new investigation into the attacks of September 11, 2001.

Support Press For Truth and help us to continue by Making A Donation

We rely on you the viewer to help us continue to do this work. With your help I can continue to make videos and documentary films for youtube in an effort to raise awareness all over the world. Please support independent media by joining Press For Truth TV!

As a Press For Truth TV subscriber you’ll have full access to the site’s features and content including Video Blogs on current news from the PFT perspective and High Quality Downloads of all Press For Truth Films, Music and Special Reports! Subscribe to Press For Truth TV

You can also support Press For Truth and help us continue to do this work by donating or becoming a sponsor at pressfortruth.ca

It’s Time To Rethink 911 | Press For Truth

It’s Time To Rethink 911 | Press For Truth.

March 01, 2014

This September the 11th 2014 will mark the 13th anniversary of the attacks of 9/11/01 and since that day the world has changed in ways that we can never have imagined. The NSA is spying on us, our police operate like militarized thugs and multiple wars are both ongoing and on the brink of breaking out in the middle east and this was all made possible because of the false flag operation that was 911. A campaign called “rethink 911″ was launched in an effort to educate the public about the events that transpired on that day with the goal of gaining support for a new investigation. The campaign has gained global attention and in an effort to continue raising awareness Dan Dicks of Press For Truth recently interviewed film and television actor Ed Asner about the use of false flag operations by the US government. Dan also spoke with the former Premier of British Columbia Bill Vander Zalm about the need for transparency in government. Scientist and nano-chemistry expert Niels Harrit also joins the conversation as well as Richard Gage, founder of Architects and Engineers for 911 Truth.

Support independent media by making a contribution:
Donate through Paypal

For more info on the Rethink911 campaign and for tour info visit Rethink911.org

Watch “The Toronto Hearings on 911″

Get “The Toronto Hearings on 911″ on DVD

Produced by Dan Dicks of Press For Truth “The Toronto Hearings on 911″ documents when in 2011, experts and scientists from around the world gathered in Toronto, Canada to present new and established evidence that questions the official story of 9/11. This evidence was presented to a distinguished panel of experts over a 4 day period.
Through their analysis and scientific investigations, they hope to spark a new investigation into the attacks of September 11, 2001.

Support Press For Truth and help us to continue by Making A Donation

We rely on you the viewer to help us continue to do this work. With your help I can continue to make videos and documentary films for youtube in an effort to raise awareness all over the world. Please support independent media by joining Press For Truth TV!

As a Press For Truth TV subscriber you’ll have full access to the site’s features and content including Video Blogs on current news from the PFT perspective and High Quality Downloads of all Press For Truth Films, Music and Special Reports! Subscribe to Press For Truth TV

You can also support Press For Truth and help us continue to do this work by donating or becoming a sponsor at pressfortruth.ca

Ellsberg: “I Am Grateful to Snowden for Having Given Us a Constitutional Crisis … a Crisis Instead of a Silent Coup” Washington’s Blog

Ellsberg: “I Am Grateful to Snowden for Having Given Us a Constitutional Crisis … a Crisis Instead of a Silent Coup” Washington’s Blog.

What Snowden Has Revealed … Is a Broken System of Our Constitution, And He’s Given Us the Opportunity To Get It Back

Daniel Ellsberg told Amy Goodman:

[Snowden] came to believe, as I did, having made those oaths initially and the promises of nondisclosure, which were not oaths, but they are contractual agreements not to do that, which he later violated, as I did—he made those in good faith, by everything known to me, and came to realize, I think, eventually, as he said, that a nondisclosure agreement in this case and the secrecy conflicted with his oath, so help me God, to defend and support the Constitution of the United States, and it was a supervening—a superseding authority there that it was his responsibility really to inform the public, because, as he said, he could see that no one else would do it.

***

Congress knew [that Clapper’s statements that the NSA doesn’t spy on the American people] hey were false, the people he was talking to, the dozen, even the man who had asked the question, Senator Wyden. What we saw, what Snowden saw and what we all saw, was that we couldn’t rely on the so-called Oversight Committee of Congress to reveal, even when they knew that they were being lied to, and that’s because they were bound by secrecy, NSA secrecy and their own rule. The secrecy system here, in other words, has totally corrupted the checks and balances on which our democracy depends.

And I think the—I am grateful to Snowden for having given us a constitutional crisis, a crisis instead of a silent coup, as after 9/11 an executive coup, or a creeping usurpation of authority. He has confronted us. He has revealed documents now that prove that the oversight process, both in the judiciary, in the FISC, the secret court, and the secret committees in Congress who keep their secrets from them, even when two of them, Wyden and Udall, felt that these were outrageous, were shocking, were probably unconstitutional, and yet did not feel that they could inform even their fellow colleagues or their staff of thisWhat Snowden has revealed, in other words, is a broken system of our Constitution, and he’s given us the opportunity to get it back, to retrieve our civil liberties, but more than that, to retrieve the separation of powers here on which our democracy depends.

FBI Documents Raise Questions about Saudi and al-Aulaqi Connections to 9/11 Attacks | Judicial Watch

FBI Documents Raise Questions about Saudi and al-Aulaqi Connections to 9/11 Attacks | Judicial Watch.

February 12, 2014 |
Judicial Watch: FBI Documents Raise Additional Questions about Saudi and al-Aulaqi Connections to 9/11 Attacks

 

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it has obtained 79 pages of investigative reports from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) providing further evidence of ties between terrorist leaders Anwar al-Aulaqi and Omar al-Bayoumi, the government of Saudi Arabia, and FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) counter-terrorism investigations in the days leading up to the 9-11 terrorist attack.

Included in the new documents are dozens of pages of a case-establishing “Letterhead Memorandum” from the FBI’s Washington headquarters and San Diego field office. Limited portions of some of the memos had been previously released, but with many of the key elements heavily redacted. The documents came in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch against the U.S. Department of State and FBI on June 4, 2012.

Among the new revelations contained in the 79 pages of documents are the following:

  • The FBI had early suspicions about closer ties between Aulaqi and 9-11 hijacker Nawaf al-Hazmi than Aulaqi admitted: “This data suggests a more pervasive connection between al-Hazmi and Aulaqi than he [Aulaqi] admitted to during his interview with the FBI.”
  • The FBI had confirmed Aulaqi’s nexus with other FBI counter-terrorism investigations: “[Investigations] of Aulaqi reveal further links to other FBI International Terrorist investigations including … the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) in the United States.”
  • The documents explicitly state that as far back as 2001, Omar al-Bayoumi was reportedly a Saudi intelligence agent: “An individual who has requested confidentiality has stated al-Bayoumi is believed to have worked for the Saudi Arabian Intelligence Service and reports on dissident Saudis in the U.S. Rental and other records indicate al-Bayoumi consistently indicated his occupation as a student.”
  • Several pages of heavily redacted investigative reports contain analysis of pen registers of al-Aulaqi calls. These include a reference to an al-Aulaqi nexus with the DEA investigation, as well as contacts between al-Aulaqi and al-Bayoumi: “DEA Analysts are continuing analysis of telephone call activity …” and al-Aulaqi “… was also involved in call activity with … San Diego PENTTBOM subject OMAR AL-BAYOUMI. AL-BAYOUMI cosigned the lease of an apartment rented by [terrorist hijackers] NAWAF ALHAZMI and KHALID ALMIHDHAR.”
  • Omar al-Bayoumi’s activities while in San Diego, California, were apparently on behalf of the government of Saudi Arabia according to an unidentified FBI source: al-Bayoumi disclosed “to others at the Islamic Center of San Diego (ICSD) he had friends or contacts at the Saudi Consulate in Los Angeles, California … [redacted] advised AL-BAYOUMI was extremely close to other ICSD Saudis … believed AL-BAYOUMI was in the United States on scholarship from the Saudi Airport Authority of Saudi Airlines ….” Saudi Airlines is the flag-carrying airline of Saudi Arabia.
  • Omar al-Bayoumi was one of dozens of other Saudis in the U.S. on similar arrangements: “[Redacted] identified AL-BAYOUMI as a ghost employee of AVCO Oversees … estimated that there were approximately fifty (50) individuals carried on the books and PCA or Dallah and being paid for doing nothing.” Dallah AVCO is headquartered in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

According to a New York Times article on a secret Congressional report in 2003, Omar al-Bayoumi, a Saudi national, was suspected of being a Saudi intelligence agent who may have reported to Saudi government officials. The article said that al-Bayoumi was employed by a contractor to the Saudi civil aviation authority, and received payments authorized by a Saudi official. According to the Times story, “The payments authorized by the Saudi official increased significantly after Mr. al-Bayoumi came in contact with the two hijackers in early 2000, the classified part of the report states.”

On September 11, 2013, Judicial Watch released surveillance reports and logs it had obtained from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) revealing that FBI agents trailed al-Aulaqi to the front doors of the Pentagon on the day he spoke as an invited guest at a Department of Defense luncheon.  The day before the surveillance and luncheon, al-Aulaqi had been identified as a “terrorist organization member,” and an FBI alert had been issued reading, “Warning – approach with caution . . . Do not alert the individual to the FBI’s interest and contact your local FBI field office at the earliest opportunity.” [Emphasis added] Judicial Watch had previously obtained documents from the U.S. State Departmentindicating that the (FBI) was aware on September 27, 2001, that al-Aulaqi had purchased airplane tickets for three of the 9/11 terrorist hijackers, including mastermind Mohammed Atta. Subsequent to the FBI’s discovery, al-Aulaqi was detained and released by authorities at least twice.

“These documents suggest that there remain serious questions about what is obviously Saudi intelligence asset was doing in assisting the 9/11 hijackers,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “As these newly released documents confirm, as far back as the 9-11 attacks, the FBI had substantial evidence that both al-Aulaqi and al-Bayoumi were involved in 9/11. Yet, neither was arrested, one was not punished for a dozen years, and the other still roams free. We intend to keep digging into this critical issue.  It should cause concern that none of these questions were answered before Obama ordered al-Aulaqi’s controversial assassination.”

Washington’s “Global War on Terrorism” (GWOT): Violence, War and Instability in an “Arc of Terror” | Global Research

Washington’s “Global War on Terrorism” (GWOT): Violence, War and Instability in an “Arc of Terror” | Global Research.

Global Research, February 09, 2014
osamaobama

Twelve years into America’s “war on terror,” it is time to admit that it has failed catastrophically, unleashing violence, war and instability in an “arc of terror” stretching from West Africa to the Himalayas and beyond.  If we examine the pretext for all this chaos, that it could possibly be a legitimate or effective response to terrorism, it quickly becomes clear that it has been the exact opposite, fueling a global explosion of terrorism and a historic breakdown of law and order.

The U.S. State Department’s “terrorism” reports [3] present a searing indictment of the “war on terror” on its own terms.  From 1987 to 2001, the State Department’s “Patterns of Global Terrorism” reports had documented a steady decline in terrorism [4] around the world, from 665 incidents in 1987 to only 355 incidents in 2001.  But since 2001, the U.S. “war on terror” has succeeded in fueling the most dramatic and dangerous rise in terrorism ever seen.

The State Department reports seem, at first glance, to show some short-term success, with total terrorist incidents continuing to decline, to 205 incidents in 2002 and 208 in 2003.  But the number of more serious or “significant” incidents (involving death, serious injury, abduction, kidnapping, major property damage or the likelihood of such results) was already on the rise, from 123 incidents in 2001 to 172 in 2003.

But then the 2004 report [5], due to be published in March 2005, revealed that the number of incidents had spiked to an incredible 2,177, including 625 “significant” incidents, even though the report excluded attacks on U.S. occupation forces in Iraq.  Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice took decisive action, not to urgently review this dangerous failure of U.S. policy, but to suppress the report.  We only know what it said thanks to whistleblowers who leaked it to the media, and to Larry Johnson [6], an ex-CIA and State Department terrorism expert and a member of Ray McGovern’sVeteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity [7].

Rice eventually released a reformatted version of the 2004 report, ostensibly replacing “Patterns of Global Terrorism” with a new report titled “Country Reports on Terrorism” that excluded all statistical data.  The State Department has continued to publish “Country Reports on Terrorism” every year, and was forced to include a “statistical annex” beginning with the report for 2005.  The reports also include disclaimers that this data should not be used to compare patterns of terrorism from one year to the next because of the “evolution in data collection methodology”.  In other words, a report that used to be called “Patterns in Global Terrorism” should not be used to study patterns in global terrorism!

So, what is the State Department afraid we might find if we used it to do just that?  Let’s take a look.  The politicization of these reports certainly undermines their reliability, but, as Secretary Rice understood verywell, the dramatic rise in global terrorism that they reveal is undeniable.

The numbers obviously spiked in Iraq and Afghanistan while under U.S. occupation, so we’ll exclude the figures for those periods in those countries.  The rationale for the “war on terror” was always that, by “fighting them there”, we wouldn’t have to “fight them here”, so we’ll just look at the effect “here” and everywhere else.

On that limited basis, the State Department reports nonetheless document an explosion of terrorism, from 208 incidents in 2003 to 2,177 in 2004 to 7,103 incidents in 2005. Since then, the total has fluctuated between a high of 7,251 incidents in 2008 and a low of 5,029 incidents in 2009, after President Obama’s election temporarily raised hopes of a change in U.S. policy.  The State Department has not issued a report for 2013 yet, but the number of “terrorist” incidents in 2012 remained at 5,748, documenting an intractable crisis that is the direct result of U.S. policy.

The ineffectiveness of the war on terror is intricately entwined with its illegitimacy.  In my book,Blood On Our Hands: the American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq, I argued that the illegitimacy of the hostile U.S. military occupation of Iraq was at the root of all its other problems.  The U.S. forces who illegally invaded the country lacked any real authority to restore the rule of law and order that they themselves had destroyed.  Even today, two years after expelling U.S. forces, the Iraqi government installed by the U.S. occupation remains crippled by fundamental illegitimacy in the eyes of its people.

The United States’ “war on terror” faces the same problem on a global scale.  The notion of fighting “terror with terror” or a “war on terror” was always fundamentally flawed, both legally and in its prospects for success.  As Ben Ferencz [8], the only surviving prosecutor from the Nuremberg war crimes trials, explained to NPR on September 19th 2001 [9], a week after the mass murders of 2,753 people in his hometown, New York City:

“It is never a legitimate response to punish people who are not responsible for the wrong done.  We must make a distinction between punishing the guilty and punishing others.  If you simply retaliate en masse by bombing Afghanistan, let us say, or the Taliban, you will kill many people who don’t approve of what has happened.  I wouldn’t say there is no appropriate role (for the military), but the role should be consistent with our ideals… our principles are respect for the rule of law, not charging in blindly and killing people because we are blinded by our tears and our rage.  We must first draw up an indictment and specify what the crimes were, calling upon all states to arrest and detain the persons named in the indictment so they can be interrogated by U.S. examiners… I realize that (the judicial process) is slow and cumbersome, but it is not inadequate… We don’t have to rewrite any rules.  We have to apply the existing rules.”

Ferencz took issue with the use of terms like “war”, “war crimes” and “terrorism.”

“What has happened here is not war in its traditional sense…  War crimes are crimes that happen in wartime.  There is confusion there…  Don’t use the term “war” crimes, because that suggests there is a war going on and it’s a violation of the rules of war.  This is not in that category.  We are getting confused with our terminology in our determination to put a stop to these terrible crimes… To call them “terrorists” is also a misleading term.  There’s no agreement on what terrorism is.  One man’s terrorism is another man’s heroism…  We try them for mass murder.  That’s a crime under every jurisdiction and that’s what’s happened here and that is a crime against humanity.”

British military historian Michael Howard told NPR that U.S. leaders were making “a very natural but a terrible and irrevocable error” in declaring a “war on terrorism.”  He elaborated in a lecture in London [10] a few weeks later:

“…to use, or rather to misuse the term “war” is not simply a matter of legality, or pedantic semantics.  It has deeper and more dangerous consequences.  To declare that one is “at war” is immediately to create a war psychosis that may be totally counter-productive for the objective that we seek.  It will arouse an immediate expectation, and demand, for spectacular military action against some easily identifiable adversary, preferably a hostile state…”

In the U.S. Congress in 2001, Barbara Lee stood alone [11] against a sweeping Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), giving the president the authority to use “all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons” whom he judged to have “planned, authorized, committed or aided” the mass murders of September 11th.

Barbara Lee implored her colleagues not to “become the evil we deplore,” but she was the only Member with the clarity and courage to vote “No” to the AUMF.  Twelve years later, she has 31 co-sponsors forH.R. 198 [12], a bill to finally repeal the 2001 AUMF.  They include former civil rights leader John Lewis, who said recently [13], “If I had to do it all over again, I would have voted with Barbara Lee. It was raw courage on her part. So, because of that, I don’t vote for funding for war. I vote against preparation for the military. I will never again go down that road.”

From the outset, few Americans understood that the “war on terror” was not legally a real war in which the civilian rule of law was suspended.  Elizabeth Wilmshurst resigned as Deputy Legal Advisor to the British Foreign Office in protest at the U.K.’s “crime of aggression” [14]against Iraq in 2003.  A year later, she told theIndependent [15], “This rather extraordinary war on terror, which is a phrase that all lawyers hate… is not really a war, a conflict against terror, any more than the war on obesity means that you can detain people.”

As the Obama administration took office in 2009, an Eminent Jurists Panel [16] convened by the International Commission of Jurists, and headed by former President of Ireland Mary Robinson issued a report on the U.S. response to terrorism since 2001.  The report concluded that the U.S. government had confused the public by framing its counter-terrorism activities within a “war paradigm.”  It explained,

“The U.S.’ war paradigm has created fundamental problems.  Among the most serious is that the U.S. has applied war rules to persons not involved in situations of armed conflict, and, in genuine situations of warfare, it has distorted, selectively applied and ignored otherwise binding rules, including fundamental guarantees of human rights laws.”

Like Ben Ferencz, the ICJ panel insisted that established principles of law “were intended to withstand crises, and they provide a robust and effective framework from which to tackle terrorism.”

But Barack Obama was an unlikely candidate to restore the rule of law to U.S. policy, to demilitarize the “war on terror” or to derail the gravy train of the largest military budget since World War II.  Hislong-term ties to General Dynamics CEO Lester Crown [17] and his thorough vetting by Crown and other military-industrial power-brokers ensured that the 2008 election was the first in 14 years in which Democrats raised more campaign cash from the weapons industry than Republicans, even after the Republicans almost doubled the military budget in 8 years and nominated industry darling John McCain for president.

A persistent part of the Obama myth is his description of himself as a “constitutional law professor.”  While serving as an Illinois State Senator, Mr. Obama did have a part-time job as a lecturer teaching 3 two-hour seminars per year at the University of Chicago in a program that brought politicians and other prominent people into the law school to give students a taste of the “real world.”  Most of the seminars were on public interest law or racism, not constitutional law [18], but in the looking-glass world of Obama mythology, this has transformed him into a “constitutional law professor” for political purposes.

Obama has failed to close Guantanamo, escalated the longest and most unpopular war [19] in U.S. history in Afghanistan, maintained the largest military budget since World War II [20], conducted23,000 air strikes [21] (mostly in Afghanistan [22]), launched or expanded covert and proxy wars in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya and Syria, and deployed U.S. special forces to 120 countries [23].

But perhaps the signature initiative of Obama’s war policy has been the expansion of assassination operations [24] using unmanned drones and JSOC death squads.  These operations violate still-standing executive orders [25] by previous presidents that prohibit assassination by U.S. forces or officials.  They are not legally covered by the 2001 AUMF, because very few of the people he is killing were involved in the crimes ofSeptember 11th, as former State Department Legal AdviserJohn Bellinger pointed out to the Washington Post [26] in 2010.

Just as Bush administration lawyers wrote memos claiming that torture was not torture, Obama’s have reportedly written memos claiming that assassination is not assassination and that innocent civilians in half-a-dozen countries are somehow implicated in September 11th and therefore legitimate targets under the 2001 AUMF.  But after Bush’s torture memos were widely ridiculed as legal fig-leaves to justify war crimes, the Obama administration has drawn a veil of secrecy over its assassination memos.  If Obama’s legal training has taught him nothing else, it’s that he can’t afford to expose his illegitimate cover for war crimes to public scrutiny and global outrage.

As the U.N.’s Special Rapporteur for Extrajudicial Executions Philip Alston wrote in June 2010 [27],

“Targeted killings pose a rapidly growing challenge to the international rule of law, as they are increasingly used in circumstances which violate the rules of international law… The most prolific user of targeted killings today is the United States, which primarily uses drones for attacks… the United States has put forward a novel theory that there is a “law of 9/11″ that enables it to legally use force in the territory of other states as part of its inherent right to self-defense on the basis that it is in an armed conflict with Al-Qaeda, the Taliban and “associated forces,” although the latter group is fluid and undefined.  This expansive and open-ended interpretation of the right to self-defense goes a long way towards destroying the prohibition on the use of armed force contained in the UN Charter.”

The prohibition against the threat or use of force in Article 2.4 of the UN Charter [28] is the foundation of peace in the modern world.  As Alston implied, it is either an unintended victim or an intended target of the “war on terror.”  The history of U.S. war policy since the end of the Cold War suggests the latter.  U.S. officials came to see the Charter’s prohibition on the threat or use of force as a constraint on their ability to exploit the “power dividend [29]” they gained from the collapse of the Soviet Union.  For ten years, they struggled to sell the world on new interventionist doctrines of “reassurance [30]“, “humanitarian intervention [31]“, “responsibility to protect [32]” and “information warfare [33].”  In the Clinton administration’s 1997 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) [34], itclaimed the right to use unilateral military force to “defend vital national interests,” including “preventing the emergence of a hostile regional coalition…(and) ensuring uninhibited access to key markets, energy supplies and strategic resources.”

As the British Foreign Office’s top Legal Adviser [35] told his government during the Suez Crisis in 1956, “The plea of vital interest, which has been one of the main justifications for wars in the past, is indeed the very one which the U.N. Charter was intended to exclude.”  So the implicit threat in Clinton’s QDR was a violation the U.N. Charter, and his attack on Yugoslavia in 1999 was a flagrant violation and a crime of aggression.  When British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook told Secretary Albright the U.K. was having difficulty “with its lawyers” over the plan to attack Yugoslavia, she told him the U.K. should “get new lawyers.”

When planes crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11th, counter-terrorism still seemed an unlikely pretext for overturning the U.N. Charter. But, within hours, according to Under-secretary Cambone’s notes [36] obtained by CBS News, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld told a meeting at the Pentagon, “Judge whether good enough hit S.H. (Saddam Hussein) at same time – not only UBL (Usama Bin Laden)… Go massive.  Sweep it all up.  Things related and not.”

Twelve years later, as Michael Howard predicted, it is much harder to unscramble the consequences of America’s “natural but terrible” embrace of open-ended aggression and militarism.  But underlying all the crimes and atrocities committed in our names is the fiction that we are at “war” with “terror”, whatever that can possibly mean.  What it means in practice is that the U.S. government has applied an opportunistic soup of peacetime and wartime rules to justify whatever it wants to do, to use force anywhere in the world, to kill or maim anybody, to spy on anybody, to violate any treaty or human rights law and to project power anywhere, to effectively place itself beyond the rule of law.  To paraphrase Richard Nixon [37], “When the United States does it, that means that it is not illegal.”

The analysis of international lawyers like Ben Ferencz and other experts gives us a clear road-map to ending the war on terror and starting to undo its terrible consequences. There is a surprisingly clear consensus across the political spectrum on what needs to be done.

On the one hand, we have Noam Chomsky saying [38], on October 18th 2001, that, “The only way we can put a permanent end to terrorism is to stop participating in it.”  On the other hand we have Eliza Manningham-Buller, the first woman to head MI5, the U.K.’s domestic intelligence agency, describing a meeting at the British Embassy [39] in Washington on September 12th 2001, where “there was one thing we all agreed on: terrorism is resolved through politics and economics, not through arms and intelligence… I call it a crime, not an act of war… I have never thought it helpful to refer to a “war” on terror any more than a war on drugs.”

Ending the failed war on terror means restoring the rule of law to U.S. policy – not by secret interpretations of extraordinary laws granting unconstitutional emergency powers, but by genuine compliance with U.S. law and international treaties like the U.N. Charter and the Geneva Conventions.  If we allow our government to persist in this failed and disastrous policy, it will continue to corrupt and erode its own authority, it will destabilize the entire world and it will leave us defenseless in the face of real existential dangers like climate change and nuclear war.

Nothing could be more urgent than ending the failed war on terror (FWOT).  These are the practical steps we must demand of the President and Congress:

1) Pass Barbara Lee’s bill, H.R.198 [40], to repeal the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force.

2) Close the concentration camp at Guantanamo Bay.  Transfer accused criminals to stand trial in legitimate courts under fair trial standards, and release and compensate people wrongly imprisoned and/or tortured.

3) Halt all drone strikes, assassinations and military or paramilitary operations that violate the U.N. Charter, the Geneva Conventions or other established principles of international law.

4) Substantially cut the U.S. military budget to end the most expensive and destabilizing unilateral arms build-up in the history of the world.

5) Acknowledge that the U.S. has committed aggression, torture and other war crimes during the past 12 years.  Restore legal accountability and compensate victims.

6) Make a new commitment to good faith diplomacy and cooperation with other countries to deal with the world’s pressing political, economic, social and environmental problems, including the explosion of terrorism caused by the war on terror.

Nicolas J. S. Davies is author of Blood On Our Hands: The American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq. He wrote the chapter on “Obama At War” for the just released book, Grading the 44th President: A Report Card on Barack Obama’s First Term as a Progressive Leader.

 Notes:

[1] http://alternet.org
[2] http://www.alternet.org/authors/nicolas-js-davies
[3] http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/crt/
[4] http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/33889.pdf
[5] http://seattletimes.com/html/politics/2002243262_terror16.html
[6] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_C._Johnson
[7] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veteran_Intelligence_Professionals_for_Sanity
[8] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_B._Ferencz
[9] http://benferencz.org/index.php?id=4&article=53
[10] http://english.pravda.ru/news/russia/01-11-2001/29465-0/
[11] http://www.wagingpeace.org/articles/2001/09/14_lee-speech.htm
[12] http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c113:H.R.198:
[13] http://www.democracynow.org/2013/7/5/rep_john_lewis_civil_rights_icon
[14] http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/4377605.stm
[15] http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0705-06.htm
[16] http://www.un.org/en/sc/ctc/specialmeetings/2011/docs/icj/icj-2009-ejp-execsumm.pdf
[17] http://www.zcommunications.org/investing-in-weapons-war-and-obama-by-nicolas-j-s-davies.html
[18] http://dailycaller.com/2012/09/12/former-univ-of-chicago-law-school-dean-obama-was-never-offered-tenure/2/
[19] http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2013/12/30/cnn-poll-afghanistan-war-most-unpopular-in-u-s-history/
[20] http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/ERP-2012/pdf/ERP-2012-table80.pdf
[21] http://www.alternet.org/world/bomber-chief-20000-airstrikes-presidents-first-term-cause-death-and-destruction-iraq-somalia
[22] http://www.afcent.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-140113-009.pdf
[23] http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175426/
[24] http://www.zcommunications.org/americas-death-squads-by-nicolas-j-s-davies.html
[25] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_Order_12036
[26] http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/03/AR2010060304965.html
[27] http://www.ohchr.org/en/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=10094&LangID=E
[28] http://https//www.un.org/en/documents/charter/chapter1.shtml
[29] http://www.comw.org/pda/fulltext/1001PDABR20.pdf
[30] http://www.salon.com/2005/03/17/wolfowitz_nomination/
[31] http://www.globalpolicy.org/qhumanitarianq-intervention.html
[32] http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/08/opinion/r2p-rip.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&
[33] http://strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pubs/parameters/articles/97summer/peters.htm
[34] http://www.dod.mil/pubs/qdr/sec3.html
[35] http://www.chathamhouse.org/sites/default/files/public/The%20World%20Today/2006/wt100616.pdf
[36] http://www.cbsnews.com/news/plans-for-iraq-attack-began-on-9-11/
[37] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejvyDn1TPr8
[38] http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2001/chomsky-1024.html
[39] http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/radio4/transcripts/2011_reith3.pdf
[40] http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c113:H.R.198.IH:
[41] http://www.alternet.org/tags/war-terror
[42] http://www.alternet.org/tags/obama-0
[43] http://www.alternet.org/tags/bush-1
[44] http://www.alternet.org/tags/afghanistan-pakistan-relations
[45] http://www.alternet.org/tags/iraq-0
[46] http://www.alternet.org/tags/drones-0
[47] http://www.alternet.org/%2Bnew_src%2B

The NSA Fiasco: A Carefully Choreographed Stage Show | Global Research

The NSA Fiasco: A Carefully Choreographed Stage Show | Global Research.

nsa

As the public finally becomes outraged over the NSA’s illegal spying, members of government and the corporate media wage an information war to misdirect that anger to issues of less importance.

To counteract this, a bold new citizen-led initiative to nullify the NSA is now gaining momentum around the United States.

This is the GRTV Backgrounder on Global Research TV.

One of the less-remembered parts of the Osama bin Laden fairytale was that the NSA had a hard time keeping track of his communications with his Al CIAda operatives. Why? Because, as General Michael Hayden told CBS News back in early 2001, bin Laden used standard encryption and off-the-shelf American telecommunication products.

Sound unbelievable? That’s because it is. As they go on to admit in that very same report, they were tracking bin Laden’s satellite phone after all, and as James Bamford and others have described in exhaustive detail, the NSA was monitoring Al Qaeda’s “communications hub” in Yemen for years prior to 9/11, and purposefullly withholding most of that information from the CIA bin Laden unit. But the idea that the NSA just wasn’t able to track bin Laden because of his dastardly technology was a key meme for the NSA to implant in the immediate wake of 9/11. That’s why the Hayden interview was replayed on CBS less than 48 hours after the attacks, and that’s why, as recently declassified documents show, the NSA used 9/11 as an official talking point to justify their illegal surveillance of Americans.

This meme, of course, was a lie. As NSA insiders have pointed out for years, most if not all of the current illegal collections programs began before 9/11, but the false flag events of September 11th provided the perfect justification for the revelation and expansion of those programs.

Now, over a decade later, that meme is paying off. Just two weeks after a federal district court judgeruled the NSA’s collection of telephone metadata unconstitutional, a different district court judgeruled it constitutional. In his particularly florid ruling, U.S. District Court Judge William Pauley wrote:

“The September 11th terrorist attacks revealed, in the starkest terms, just how dangerous and interconnected the world is. While Americans depended on technology for the conveniences of modernity, al-Qaeda plotted in a seventh-century milieu to use that technology against us. It was a bold jujitsu. And it succeeded because conventional intelligence gathering could not detect diffuse filaments connecting al-Qaeda.”

No matter if it bears any resemblence to reality. The meme has been planted and the courts are willing to go along with it. It is now official lore that the NSA needs to spy on everyone’s phone metadata to prevent the next 9/11 from taking place.

Of course, that’s not the only lie in this story. The even bigger lie that is being propounded now is that the national conversation and the court cases are still revolving around the false notion that NSA phone spying is somehow limited to metadata, as if all the NSA is collecting are lists of phone numbers and call durations. We have suspected for years that phone calls were being recorded and stored wholesale, but that was actually confirmed by Tim Clemente, a former FBI counterterrorism agent who casually let it slip on Erin Burnett’s CNN program in May that US intelligence agencies have access to complete phone conversations whenever they want in the name of “national security.”

Although this caused a buzz at the time and was picked up by numerous publications, it was soon covered over by the Snowden story, which once again focused people’s attention on metadata. One person who did not gloss over it, however, was Russ Tice. He was a former NSA employee who became a whistleblower almost a decade ago, as one of the sources for the initial New York Times story exposing the illegal NSA wiretapping program. When he heard Clemente’s interview he immediately contacted his ex-NSA friends and discussed whether the NSA was already recording every phone conversation they could intercept and storing them at their new Utah data center. The ex-NSA gathering’s consensus: this was exactly what the NSA was doing. As a result, Tice decided to go further than ever before about what he knew regarding illegal NSA activities. In a series of interviews on BoilingFrogsPost.comThe Corbett Report, and other media venues, Tice revealedthat during his time as an NSA employee he had personally handled the eavesdropping orders to monitor the communications of high-ranking judges, congressman and military officials, presumably for the purposes of blackmail.

And once again these shocking revelations are being spun away into theory and hearsay. This time it’s Senator Bernie Sanders lobbing the softball at the NSA as he sends them a letter politely askingwhether the NSA is spying on Congress. Senator Sanders did not ask about the wiretapping of communications that Tice has already exposed, however, but merely whether or not the NSA metadata spying extends to members of congress. Once again, the real scandal is papered over by milquetoast non-confrontation by the bought-and-paid-for congress that have been perfectly content to let this happen for years now.

The entire NSA fiasco is stage-managed theatrics from start to finish, a carefully choreographed stage show with full cooperation from the corporate media that is only too willing to play along and misdirect the national conversation to areas of little or no importance. Meanwhile, in reality, the only question worth discussing is how to abolish the NSA entirely. Since this is not a question that is on the table politically, it is up to the public to find alternative ways of shutting down the NSA. Luckily, there is at least one innovative project happening that proposes to do just that.

Those who are interested in finding out how they can help turn the taps off on the NSA (literally) are encouraged to explore the #NullifyNSA hashtag on twitter and explore the campaign website atOffNow.org.

Verizon Details How It Spied On Its Customers In 2013 | Zero Hedge

Verizon Details How It Spied On Its Customers In 2013 | Zero Hedge.

While Edward Snowden’s legacy has already been felt in official, government circle most recently with Obama’s amusing, if completely meaningless, theatrical reformation of the NSA (so wait, the Utah’s superstasi spy center is now closed, right?), it is now the private sector’s turn. Moments ago, Verizon – in what is hopefully the first such action of many – provided an extensive “Transparency Report” in which it disclosed the “number of subpoenas, orders, and warrants we received from law enforcement in the United States last year. We also received emergency requests and National Security Letters. The vast majority of these various types of demands relate to our consumer customers; we receive relatively few demands regarding our enterprise customers.” So regular retail customers are being actively spied on, but corporations are safe. Good to know.

And now, time for the AT&T to do the same:

 

* * *

The full transparency report:

U.S. Data

In 2013, Verizon received approximately 320,000 requests for customer information from federal, state or local law enforcement in the United States. We do not release customer information unless authorized by law, such as a valid law enforcement demand or an appropriate request in an emergency involving the danger of death or serious physical injury.

The table below sets out the number of subpoenas, orders, and warrants we received from law enforcement in the United States last year. We also received emergency requests and National Security Letters. The vast majority of these various types of demands relate to our consumer customers; we receive relatively few demands regarding our enterprise customers.

Overall, we saw an increase in the number of demands we received in 2013, as compared to 2012.

Subpoenas

We received approximately 164,000 subpoenas from law enforcement in the United States last year. We are required by law to provide the information requested in a valid subpoena. The subpoenas we receive are generally used by law enforcement to obtain subscriber information or the type of information that appears on a customer’s phone bill. More than half of the subpoenas we receive seek only subscriber information: that is, those subpoenas typically require us to provide the name and address of a customer assigned a given phone number or IP address. Other subpoenas also ask for certain transactional information, such as phone numbers that a customer called. The types of information we can provide in response to a subpoena are limited by law. We do not release contents of communications (such as text messages or emails) or cell site location information in response to subpoenas.

Orders

We received about 70,000 court orders last year. These court orders must be signed by a judge, indicating that the law enforcement officer has made the requisite showing required under the law to the judge. The orders compel us to provide some type of information to the government.

General Orders. Most of the orders we received last year – almost 63,000 – were “general orders.” We use the term “general order” to refer to an order other than a wiretap order, warrant, or pen register or trap and trace order. Almost half of the general orders required us to release the same types of basic information that could also be released pursuant to a subpoena. We do not provide law enforcement any stored content (such as text messages or email) in response to a general order.

Pen/Trap” Orders and Wiretap Orders. A small subset of the orders we received last year – about 7,800 – required us to provide access to data in real-time. A pen register order requires us to provide law enforcement with real-time access to phone numbers as they are dialed, while a trap and trace order compels us to provide law enforcement with real-time access to the phone numbers from incoming calls.  We do not provide any content in response to pen register or trap and trace orders.  We received about 6,300 court orders to assist with pen registers or trap and traces last year, although generally a single order is for both a pen register and trap and trace. Far less frequently, we are required to assist with wiretaps, where law enforcement accesses the content of a communication as it is taking place. We received about 1,500 wiretap orders last year.

Warrants

We received about 36,000 warrants last year. To obtain a warrant a law enforcement officer must show a judge that there is “probable cause” to believe that the evidence sought is related to a crime.  This is a higher standard than the standard for a general order. While many warrants seek the same types of information that can also be obtained through a general order or subpoena, most warrants we received in 2013 sought stored content or location information.
What showing must law enforcement make to obtain a warrant?
What is the difference between stored content and non-content?

Content and Location Information

Content. We are compelled to provide contents of communications to law enforcement relatively infrequently. Under the law, law enforcement may seek communications or other content that a customer may store through our services, such as text messages or email. Verizon only releases such stored content to law enforcement with a warrant; we do not produce stored content in response to a general order or subpoena. Last year, we received approximately 14,500 warrants for stored content.

As explained above, law enforcement may also present a wiretap order to obtain access to the content of a communication as it is taking place, which they did about 1,500 times last year. Taken together, the number of orders for stored content and to wiretap content in real-time accounted for only about five percent of the total number of demands we received in 2013.

Location Information.  Verizon only produces location information in response to a warrant or order; we do not produce location information in response to a subpoena. Last year, we received about 35,000 demands for location data: about 24,000 of those were through orders and about 11,000 through warrants. In addition, we received about 3,200 warrants or court orders for “cell tower dumps” last year. In such instances, the warrant or court order compelled us to identify the phone numbers of all phones that connected to a specific cell tower during a given period of time. The number of warrants and orders for location information are increasing each year.

Emergency Requests

Law enforcement requests information from Verizon that is needed to help resolve serious emergencies. We are authorized by federal law to provide the requested information in such emergencies and we have an established process to respond to emergency requests, in accordance with the law. To request data during these emergencies, a law enforcement officer must certify in writing that there was an emergency involving the danger of death or serious physical injury to a person that required disclosure without delay. These emergency requests are made in response to active violent crimes, bomb threats, hostage situations, kidnappings and fugitive scenarios, often presenting life-threatening situations. In addition, many emergency requests are in search and rescue settings or when law enforcement is trying to locate a missing child or elderly person.

We also receive emergency requests for information from Public Safety Answering Points regarding particular 9-1-1 calls from the public. Calls for emergency services, such as police, fire or ambulance, are answered in call centers throughout the country, known as PSAPs. PSAPs receive tens of millions of calls from 9-1-1 callers each year, and certain information about the calls (name and address for wireline callers; phone numbers and available location information for wireless callers) is typically made available to the PSAP when a 9-1-1 call is made. Yet a small percentage of the time PSAP officials need to contact the telecom provider to get information that was not automatically communicated by virtue of the 9-1-1 call or by the 9-1-1 caller.

In 2013, we received 85,116 emergency requests for information from law enforcement in emergency matters involving the danger of death or serious physical injury or from PSAPs relating to particular 9-1-1 calls from the public for emergency services.  While in 2013 we did not track whether an emergency request was made by law enforcement or PSAPs, we are doing so now.  We estimate that at least half of these requests – approximately 50,000 – were from law enforcement pursuant to the emergency procedures discussed above and the remainder were from PSAPs after receiving 9-1-1 calls from the public.

National Security Letters

We also received between 1,000 and 2,000 National Security Letters in 2013. We are not permitted to disclose the exact number of National Security Letters that were issued to us, but the government will allow us to provide a broad range.

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