The Two Faces of America
What did a Guantanamo inmate learn about Americans in Halloween?
November 19, 2013 “Information Clearing House - - It was Halloween ten days ago in the United States. Having spent the last 11 years in US custody at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, I’ve learned a fair amount about American culture. I understand that it is customary for people to dress up in masks and embrace different identities for a night. In Camp 5 at Guantanamo, the masks rarely come off.
Take one of our military guards here. Standing 195cm tall at 114k, Biggie is the name that the prisoners have given him. A young soldier in his 20s, Biggie can be both courteous and helpful. He often runs errands for us and speaks to us respectfully. But Biggie is also the most brutal of guards.
In February of this year, my fellow Guantanamo prisoners and I began a hunger strike to protest our indefinite imprisonment without charge. I also routinely stage peaceful sit-ins, refusing to leave my cell or the recreation area.
A procedure known as “Forced Cell Extraction” (FCE) is used to transport protesting prisoners. A typical extraction begins with the FCE team slamming my face into the ground. Four men grab my legs and arms and a fifth takes my head. The team leader pins my feet and arms together behind me at a single point while all the other guards press down on him with their cumulative weight.
Biggie is the FCE team leader on my cellblock. He is the one who nearly breaks my back during each forced extraction. He is also the one who handcuffs me using tight, cutting plastic restraints and then subjects me to a humiliating body search. I’m lucky if Biggie and the FCE team handle me like a sack of potatoes.
I recently confronted Biggie about this contradiction. His only response is that he’s “just doing as told”.
I often reflect on how Biggie mirrors his country’s contradictions. Elected American officials labeled me and the other prisoners here as “the worst of the worst”. They called us “terrorists”. Yet, despite these claims, I have not been charged with a single crime nor has any evidence been presented to support my imprisonment these long years. In fact, I have been cleared for release by both the Bush and Obama administrations.
Of course, Guantanamo does not define me. I arrived here bound at the hands and feet, blacked-out goggles covering my eyes, and expecting death. But up until that point, I had been an English teacher, a translator, a volunteer with a humanitarian group, a resident of Great Britain, a husband, and a father of four.
I know who I am. I ask the American people which face they wish to choose for their country – the good or the bad. I pray that Americans do not continue to allow fellow human beings to suffer such atrocities in the name of their security. I dream that they will find the strength to peacefully challenge those in power. And I hope that their actions are shown more humanity than ours have seen.
Shaker Aamer is the last remaining UK resident imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He has been in US custody since 2002 and was one of the very first prisoners moved to Guantanamo, and was assigned Internment Serial Number ISN 239.
This article was provided by his legal team at CUNY School of Law
Many non-Muslim Americans are terrified of Muslims, who are portrayed by Hollywood and the US media as fanatical terrorists. Muslims, too, live in fear – of being dragged off in the night to Guantanamo and tortured, simply for the crime of being Muslim in the wrong place at the wrong time.
After discussing the matter with both Muslim and non-Muslim leaders last week of January 2013, the American Muslim Political Action Committee (AMPAC) has decided to abandon the “scary” Million Muslim March. Instead, it will launch a Million American March Against Fear. The march will still be taking place at the National Mall in Washington, DC. And it will still be held on September 11th, 2013.
Why march against fear on 9/11?
September 11th, 2001 was the beginning of a new era of fear. Since 9/11, Americans have been terrorized by the media. They have been taught to fear their neighbors. They have been inculcated with fear of other religions. They have been brainwashed into fearing people with brown skins, turbans, and foreign accents.
The BBC documentary The Power of Nightmares explains how global political elites have embraced the politics of fear. As the BBC film explains, all of this fear is based on myth, not reality. The BBC even admitted: “Al Qaeda is a myth.”
Whether or not Al Qaeda is completely mythical, the so-called “Islamic terrorist threat” is pure hallucination. FBI statistics prove that Americans are far more likely to drown in their bathtubs, or be hit by lightning, than to be killed by terrorists of any kind. And Muslims commit only 6% of terrorist attacks in the US – fewer than are committed by radical Jews, and vastly fewer than those perpetrated by leftists and hispanics.
There is no reason for Americans to be afraid of Muslims.
And Muslims should not be afraid of non-Muslim Americans. Most Americans are generous, tolerant, and committed to American ideals of religious freedom. It is only a certain faction of American elites who have hijacked the nation and turned it away from its Constitution.
It is time to tell the politicians that we are not afraid of each other – or of them.
It is time for us to stop cowering in our homes, and take to the streets.
It is time to join together and reject the politics of fear.
It is time to speak out and reject the destruction of the Constitution of the United States of America. The neocons were able to shred the Constitution because they succeeded, temporarily at least, in making us afraid of each other. But there is nothing to fear. Terrorism is not a statistically significant threat.
They wrote the Patriot Act before 9/11, and rushed it out immediately after 9/11. We accepted it because we were afraid. The two US Senators who were not sufficiently fearful – Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy – got US government anthrax in the mail.
After that, they too were afraid. They stopped asking questions about 9/11 and the Patriot Act, and just went along with the program.
But as the 12th anniversary of 9/11 approaches, we now know that there is nothing to fear. The whole “terrorist threat” is a hoax invented by fear-mongering politicians to control our minds and pick our pockets.
We shouldn’t fear the truth about the 9/11-anthrax events, either. Only fear can keep preventing a real investigation of these crimes.
As President Franklin Delano Roosevelt so memorably put it: The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.
“Al-Qaeda” cannot destroy the Constitution of the United States of America. Only fear can do that.
“Al-Qaeda” cannot even find an operative smart enough to know that plastic explosives cannot explode without a detonator. If you smuggle plastic explosives onto an airplane in your shoe, or tucked into your underwear, and try to light them on fire, the worst thing that could happen is that they might catch fire and burn your own foot, or your own crotch.
Plastic explosives without a detonator is sterno camping fuel – nothing more.
But “al-Qaeda” operatives like “shoe bomber” Richard Reid, and “underwear bomber” Abdulmutallab, are so stupid, so clumsy, so utterly incompetent that not only do they not understand the need for a detonator – they can’t even manage to light a fire and properly burn themselves.
If you’re a smoker, don’t ever ask these guys for a light. You’ll be waiting all day as they try, unsuccessfully, to light a match or a cigarette lighter.
“Al-Qaeda” is a joke.
And so is the whole “war on terror.”
If the United States of America is to remain a constitutional democratic republic, the American people need to stop being afraid.
They must stop being afraid of each other. And they must stop being afraid of the truth.
Please join the Million American March Against Fear in Washington, DC on September 11th, 2013.
Dr. Kevin Barrett
MD Rabbi Alam National Speaksperson, Think Tank
Chief of Operations
Founder, AMPAC Director of Media & Outreach
MAMAF on 9/11/13
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Killing innocent people for an idea, whether on London’s streets or from the skies of Pakistan, is always wrong
By Shaker Aamer
June 15, 2013 “Information Clearing House - “The Guardian” — Here I am in Guantánamo Bay. I was meant to be a Muslim extremist, one of the “worst of the worst”, according to the former United States defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Indeed, because I am still here and 613 detainees have left, you might think that I am the worst of the worst of the worst – although perhaps the fact that I was cleared for release six years ago would give you pause for thought.
As I sit alone in my cell, I learn about acts of terrorism that take place around the world. Because the censors here do not let us have the news any more as a punishment for being on hunger strike, I have only heard the bare bones of what happened in Woolwich but, even without knowing all the facts, it is easy for me to condemn it. Just yesterday I was talking to another detainee about the murder of Lee Rigby. Neither of us could understand how anyone could think such an act was consistent with Islam. I condemn it regardless of the men’s motive. I don’t know what they thought might be achieved by it. Perhaps they were just mentally ill.
The same is true of the attack on the Boston Marathon in April. Maybe those who killed the innocent thought somehow that their attack was going to strike a blow against those who were fighting Muslims in Afghanistan or Iraq, or the Americans who were killing innocent children with drones in Pakistan and Yemen. But their actions were just plain wrong. You do not kill innocent people on the streets of London or Boston and say that is a jihad for justice.
It is important to recognise that the Americans do evil things as well. They say their motivation is to fight terrorism, and fighting terror is something I wholeheartedly support. But while their intentions may be good, their actions are also very wrong – when they kill a small child with a drone missile in Pakistan, or when they lock people up without trial in Guantánamo Bay. These actions are very unwise, too. They anger people who might before have been reasonable, so that more of them turn to extremism. They feed terrorism, just as once the denial of legal rights to those suspected of being Irish terrorists drew disaffected people to the IRA banner.
I was very pleased to hear this week that the prime minister, David Cameron, read the letter my daughter, Johina, sent him. I hope one day soon I will be back in the UK and I will be able to talk with politicians about how to reduce extremism – whether it is Muslims who misinterpret the Holy Qur’an, or members of the English Defence League who misinterpret Muslims.
We cannot establish justice by committing injustice. Evil begets evil.
But at the same time, goodwill brings goodwill. Misguided people will always commit misguided acts, but we do not need to live as if it might happen to each of us every day. Yet the US is still living the 9/11 nightmare. Guards on my block here in Guantánamo, who were just eight years old at the time of the attacks, now treat me as if I blew up the World Trade Centre. Why have we passed this nightmare to the next generation? They have been taught to hate. This is driving the world away from reconciliation. Our children are being taught to live in the past, not the future.
No matter who we are, we must bear in mind what we are fighting for. Right now, I am on a hunger strike for justice. To me, it is worth suffering for that goal, and I will continue my personal struggle one way or another till justice prevails. I am deeply grateful to those in Britain and the US who support us: I am particularly grateful to Jane Ellison, my MP. Maybe some people think that a Conservative MP would have no sympathy for someone like me, but she sees past the prejudice. And so do I. Our prophet teaches us that if we do not thank others, we do not thank our God.
When we combat terrorism, we are in a struggle to maintain our principles – ideas that terrorists and EDL members have apparently long forgotten. We must always ensure that we do not make our principles, and our respect for others, the first victims in the fight.
• This piece was dictated by Shaker Aamer to his lawyer on 10
By Matt Williams, The Guardian
Saturday, June 8, 2013 11:45 EDT
Returning from trip to US prison camp, senators says inmates’ care is ‘safe and respectful’ as dozens protest treatment
A cross-party delegation consisting of two leading US senators and President Barack Obama’s most senior aide have reaffirmed a determination to close Guantánamo Bay following a visit to the camp.
In a joint statement late Friday, Republican senator John McCain, Dianne Feinstein, the Democratic chair of the Senate Intelligence committee, and White House chief of staff Denis McDonough said it remained in the “national interest” to shutter the centre and move inmates to other locations.
Read article here
Did Muslims Attack America on 9/11?
By Ibn e Abdul Haq
April 309, 2013 “Information Clearing House” -”PTV” – Almost 12 years and many a million deaths later, the US and its NATO allies have made public their plan to start withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014. The war in Afghanistan has been an abject failure, orphaned both on the military and the public relations fronts, with the loss of life, property, and infrastructure being colossal.
More importantly, contrary to initial claims, the global war on terror has not made the world a safer place. Instances of terrorism have continuously been on a rise, engulfing one after another the countries neighboring Afghanistan. Lest we forget, almost all subsequent wars waged by US and NATO have had their genesis in the war that was thrust onto Afghanistan after 9/11.
Much of America’s foreign policy since 9/11 has been based on the assumption that it was attacked by Muslims on that day. This assumption was used, most prominently, to justify the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. In fact every war fought by US and its allies during the first decade of the third millennium has been founded in the post-9/11 doctrine of preemption.
It is now widely agreed that the use of 9/11 as a basis for attacking Iraq was illegitimate: none of the hijackers were Iraqis, there was no working relation between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden, and Iraq was not behind the anthrax attacks. But it is still widely believed that the US attack on Afghanistan was justified. For more than a decade now, the corporate media around the world has consistently been forcing this fantastic narrative as an undisputable fact. It seems likely that the indoctrination will increase to new levels as spin-doctors try to justify the Afghanistan withdrawal plan and prove that the ‘war on terror’ has been a success unmatched in human history.
The stage has been set for a massive ploy of psychological and media war to be unleashed on the unsuspecting minds of the masses. For example, as recently as in 2011, the New York Times while referring to the US attack on Iraq as a “war of choice,” called the battle in Afghanistan a “war of necessity.” Time magazine dubbed it “the right war.” And in 2009, Barack Obama was reported to have said ‘one reason to wind down our involvement in Iraq is to have the troops and resources to “go after the people in Afghanistan who actually attacked us on 9/11.”
Read essay here
HAMISH RUTHERFORD, NICOLE PRYOR AND VERNON SMALL
A leader in the Islamic community says NZ First MP Richard Prosser should resign over his controversial comments about Muslims.
Prosser today apologised ”unreservedly” for the lack of balance in a column he wrote for Investigate magazine calling for Muslim men to be banned from Western airlines – but has ruled out standing down.
The column, entitled Enemy of the State, was written after the 45-year-old MP’s pocket penknife was confiscated at Christchurch Airport.
“If you are a young male, aged between, say, about 19 and about 35, and you’re a Muslim, or you look like a Muslim, or you come from a Muslim country, then you are not welcome to travel on any of the West’s airlines . . .” he wrote.
He also made reference to “a sorry pack of misogynist troglodytes from Wogistan”.
Despite the apology, “stepping down would be an honourable thing to do,” President of the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand (FIANZ), Dr Anwar Ghani, said.
“To take responsibility and move on from Parliament, and reflect on the damage he has caused.”
Ghani said he accepted Prosser’s apology: “We will take his apology at face value, but we will be watching with great interest at how he deals with the Muslim community in future.
“We will leave it there, and move on.”
He said the organisation would start a formal discussion with NZ First leader Winston Peters to make sure that kind of behaviour did not happen again.
Read more here
November 19, 2012
Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today laid bare the repercussions of the 9/11 attacks on America, labelling it as the worst man-made disaster for the world since the end of the last World War in 1945.
He said the events of 9/11 had resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Afghans as well as a few thousand American and British soldiers, besides causing devastation to two Muslim countries .
“It has divided the world into Muslim and non-Muslim, and sowed the seeds of suspicion and hatred between them,” he said, adding that it had also undermined the security of nations which had to spend trillions of dollars on security measures.
Read article here
October 15, 2012
As legal proceedings move forward for five Guantanamo Bay prisoners charged with roles in the September 11 terrorist attacks, the US government wants the court to censor their testimonies in a move civil liberties lawyers condemn as “chilling.”
Prosecutors in the case against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other Gitmo inmates accused of involvement in the 9/11 attacks have asked a US military judge to consider a protective order that, if approved, would delay any courtroom discussions by as long as 40-seconds to ensure that no classified information is made available to the media or others.
By doing such, prosecutors claim top-secret details about harsh interrogation techniques and special tactics enforced on the prisoners will be kept from the public and press, a necessity they say in the name of ensuring national security.
“Each of the accused is in the unique position of having had access to classified intelligence sources and methods,” the prosecution says in court filings obtained by the Associated Press. “The government, like the defense, must protect that classified information from disclosure.”
This position outraged the ACLU and some members of the media, including the AP, who are now demanding in court that the government act more transparent in their prosecution.
“What we are challenging is the censorship of the defendant’s testimony based on their personal knowledge of the government’s torture and detention of them,” ACLU attorney Hina Shamsi tells the AP, adding that her opinion is the prosecution’s suggestions would “classify the defendants own knowledge, thoughts and experience.”
“It’s a truly extraordinary and chilling proposal that the government is asking the court to accept,” Shamsi says.
Attorneys for the defense say the result could be much more damming that just risking disclosure, though, as it will censor prisoners from going public about any mistreatment and torture they were subjected to while under years of CIA-sanctioned detention.
“It’s a way in which the government can hide what it did to these men during the period of detention by the CIA,” Army Capt. Jason Wright, a Pentagon-appointed attorney for Mohammed, tells the AP. “I think we need to bring the truth to the light of day on these issues.”
If the court agrees to accept the proposal, details about “advanced interrogation technique” forced onto prisoners, such as the drowning-simulation act known as water-boarding, could be kept from ever escaping the courtroom. Inmate testimonies would be subjected to nearly a one-minute delay, allowing the government to stop the disclosure of any details they may wish to remain under lock-and-key. And while this order has been proposed under the guise of national security, defense attorneys argue that it’s being brought up to keep the truth about years of torture from ever being brought up.
To KTRK News, Capt. Wright suggested he was adamant about bringing all facts regarding his client’s detention to the court and stressed that it has a major role how the rest of the case will move forward, whether or not the government approves.
“Torture matters because, quite frankly, America is better than this,” Wright tells the network. “Other counsel has explained the legal relevance as to why it’s important for this case, why it’s part of the mitigation case, why we have an obligation as defense attorneys to tell the history of our clients.”
Mohammed has previously confessed to military officials that he planned the September 11 attacks against America “from A to Z” and has admitted to being involved in dozens of other terrorist plots. He was arraigned on May 5, 2012 on charges that include terrorism, conspiracy and 2,976 counts of murder, along with co-defendants Ramzi Binalshibh, Walid bin Attash, Mustafa Ahmad al-Hawsawi and Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali.
This article first appeared on RT.com.
The Post-9/11 Homeland: America Declares War on Islam
Holy Land Foundation Case Goes to Supreme Court
By Stephen Lendman
Global Research, October 12, 2012
Post-9/11, America declared war on Islam. Injustice triumphed. So did hate and fear. Innocent Muslims became fair game. Guilt by accusation became policy.
Many innocent men and women were charged with terrorism or conspiracy to commit it. They languish unjustly in gulag hell.
They became Washington’s enemy of choice. All Muslims have reason to fear being in America at the wrong time.
Ignored is that Islam teaches love, not hate; peace, not violence; charity, not selfishness; and tolerance, not terrorism. Islam, Christianity and Judaism have common roots.
In today’s hate-filled climate, you’d never know it. Praying to the wrong God became criminalized.
Numerous injustice examples explain US ruthlessness. Among many egregious cases, the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) charity is notable.
Several earlier articles discussed it. It remains a monument of injustice. Charitable giving to the wrong recipients became criminalized. Feeding the wrong hungry children was called lawless. More on that below.
On October 11, Press TV headlined “Muslim charity case goes to Supreme Court,” saying:
Bush administration officials considered HLF its “flagship terror-financing case….” On December 4, 2001, HLF was bogusly declared a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO). Its assets were frozen.
Five HLF principles were wrongfully charged, convicted and imprisoned. In late October, the Supreme Court will decide whether to hear their appeal. It won’t be easy convincing hardline justices to do the right thing.
Hope springs eternal. Maybe even right-wing ideologues won’t tolerate injustice this egregious. Fundamental constitutional principles are at stake. So is right v. wrong.
On January 25, 1995, Bill Clinton issued Executive Order 12947: Prohibiting Transactions With Terrorists Who Threaten To Disrupt the Middle East Peace Process.
The same year Hamas was bogusly declared a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO). It remains one today. Any individual or group charged with providing material support (true or false) becomes targeted for prosecution.
Read more here
The annual 9/11 “remembrance” has become a yearly international holiday for the Big Lie
By Larry Chin
Global Research, September 17, 2012
Every year, people commemorate 9/11 without having a clear understanding of the original event or the elite agenda that made it possible. This lack of comprehension persists, even as the world explodes in series of orchestrated “new 9/11s” on the eleventh anniversary of the original crime.
* * *
What was still is
The attacks of 9/11/01 was a false flag operation of the Bush/Cheney administration and CIA-affiliated military-intelligence assets (Al-Qaeda, etc.). The resulting “war on terrorism” of the Bush/Cheney and Obama administrations is built on false flag terrorism and propaganda. The “terrorists” are military-intelligence assets, acting on behalf of Anglo-American leaders and their allies.
9/11 is not history. It is now.
The overriding elite military and intelligence agenda remains the conquest of oil and gas resources. 9/11/01 was the first act of desperation among elites to control all significant energy-related geography on the planet, while preventing rival powers from doing the same.
Under the “war on terror”, the world has suffered eleven continuous years of false flag terror. Bombings. Destabilizations. Assassinations. Coups and counter-coups. Controlled and co-opted popular revolts and “mob violence”. Regime changes. Criminality beyond redemption.
As of this writing, new false flag terror attacks in various nations have been carried out by “terrorists” directly and indirectly connected to the CIA and Washington.
They have taken place simultaneous with mob action and grass roots street protests, likely stoked and guided by military-intelligence assets of the CIA and its affiliates.
The manner of the Benghazi attack suggests military-style coordination (also see here), and that the attack was allowed to happen.
The timing was politically convenient. The anti-Muslim film (allegedly by an American right-wing Christian zealot) that sparked riots, and its translated broadcast in Egypt, demand further inquiry. Popular unrest also appears to be guided and/or co-opted.
Read more here