In this introductory episode Sibel Edmonds, Guillermo Jimenez and Pearse Redmond introduce the new BFP Roundtable Season and discuss new ideas and possibilities for coming shows. From there the panel quickly moves on to its first topic: Senator Graham’s so-called smoking gun (The infamous redacted 28-pages), the possible reasons for and timing of this old pickled issue’s circulation, in conjunction with the Saudi Arabia-Yemen angle and connections.
The link to the full story is in the title above. The full text (minus links and photos) is below in case the article disappears from the NYT website or is put behind a paywall.
WASHINGTON — When Bruce E. Ivins, an Army microbiologist, took a fatal overdose of Tylenol in 2008, the government declared that he had been responsible for the anthrax letter attacks of 2001, which killed five people and set off a nationwide panic, and closed the case.
Now, a former senior F.B.I. agent who ran the anthrax investigation for four years says that the bureau gathered “a staggering amount of exculpatory evidence” regarding Dr. Ivins that remains secret. The former agent, Richard L. Lambert, who spent 24 years at the F.B.I., says he believes it is possible that Dr. Ivins was the anthrax mailer, but he does not think prosecutors could have convicted him had he lived to face criminal charges.
In a lawsuit filed in federal court in Tennessee last Thursday, Mr. Lambert accused the bureau of trying “to railroad the prosecution of Ivins” and, after his suicide, creating “an elaborate perception management campaign” to bolster its claim that he was guilty. Mr. Lambert’s lawsuit accuses the bureau and the Justice Department of forcing his dismissal from a job as senior counterintelligence officer at the Energy Department’s lab in Oak Ridge, Tenn., in retaliation for his dissent on the anthrax case.
The late Bruce Ivins in 2003, when he was a microbiologist at Fort Detrick, Md. Credit Sam Yu/Frederick News Post, via Assocaited (sic) Press
The anthrax letters were mailed to United States senators and news organizations in the weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, causing a huge and costly disruption in the postal system and the federal government. Members of Congress and Supreme Court justices were forced from their offices while technicians in biohazard suits cleaned up the lethal anthrax powder. Decontamination costs nationwide exceeded $1 billion. At least 17 people were sickened, in addition to the five who died.
The bureau’s investigation, one of the longest-running and most technically complex inquiries in its history, has long been seen as troubled. Investigators initially lacked the forensic skills to analyze bioterrorist attacks. For several years, agents focused on a former Army scientist and physician, Dr. Steven J. Hatfill, who was subsequently cleared and given a $4.6 million settlement to resolve a lawsuit. Reviews by the National Academy of Sciences and the Government Accountability Office faulted aspects of the F.B.I.’s scientific work on the case.
Mr. Lambert, who was himself criticized for pursuing Dr. Hatfill for so long, has now offered, in his lawsuit and in an interview, an insider’s view of what hampered the investigation.
“This case was hailed at the time as the most important case in the history of the F.B.I.,” Mr. Lambert said. “But it was difficult for me to get experienced investigators assigned to it.”
He said that the effort was understaffed and plagued by turnover, and that 12 of 20 agents assigned to the case had no prior investigative experience. Senior bureau microbiologists were not made available, and two Ph.D. microbiologists who were put on the case were then removed for an 18-month Arabic language program in Israel. Fear of leaks led top officials to order the extreme compartmentalization of information, with investigators often unable to compare notes and share findings with colleagues, he said.
Mr. Lambert said he outlined the problems in a formal complaint in 2006 to the F.B.I.’s deputy director. Some of his accusations were later included in a report on the anthrax case by the CBS News program “60 Minutes,” infuriating bureau leaders.
The police in Frederick, Md., spoke with a woman they identified as Diane Ivins, the wife of Bruce E. Ivins, 62, at the couple’s home in Frederick, Md., in 2008. Credit Rob Carr/Associated Press
The F.B.I., which rarely comments on pending litigation, did not respond to requests for comment on Mr. Lambert’s claims.
Although the lethal letters contained notes expressing jihadist views, investigators came to believe the mailer was an insider in the government’s biodefense labs. They eventually matched the anthrax powder to a flask in Dr. Ivins’s lab at Fort Detrick in Maryland and began intense scrutiny of his life and work.
They discovered electronic records that showed he had spent an unusual amount of time at night in his high-security lab in the periods before the two mailings of the anthrax letters. They found that he had a pattern of sending letters and packages from remote locations under assumed names. They uncovered emails in which he described serious mental problems.
The investigators documented Dr. Ivins’s obsession with a national sorority that had an office near the Princeton, N.J., mailbox where the letters were mailed. They detected what they believed to be coded messages directed at colleagues, hidden in the notes in the letters.
As prosecutors prepared to charge him with the five murders in July 2008, Dr. Ivins, 62, took his own life at home in Frederick, Md. Days later, at a news conference, Jeffrey A. Taylor, then the United States attorney for the District of Columbia, said the authorities believed “that based on the evidence we had collected, we could prove his guilt to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt.”
But Mr. Lambert says the bureau also gathered a large amount of evidence pointing away from Dr. Ivins’s guilt that was never shared with the public or the news media. Had the case come to trial, he said, “I absolutely do not think they could have proved his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.” He declined to be specific, saying that most of the information was protected by the Privacy Act and was unlikely to become public unless Congress carried out its own inquiry.
After retiring from the F.B.I. in 2012, Mr. Lambert joined the Energy Department. But an F.B.I. ethics lawyer ruled that because Mr. Lambert had to work with F.B.I. agents in his new job, he was violating a conflict-of-interest law that forbade former federal employees from contacting previous colleagues for a year after they had left their government jobs.
That ruling led to his dismissal, Mr. Lambert said, and he has not been able to find work despite applying for more than 70 jobs. His lawsuit asserts that several other former F.B.I. agents were able to take identical intelligence jobs with the Energy Department and that he was singled out for mistreatment.
J. Michael Springmann has just published Visas for Al Qaeda: CIA Handouts That Rocked The World. As a former member of the US Foreign Service, Mr. Springmann exposes the truth about American involvement in the training and international movement of Muslim terrorists and the subsequent increase in jihadist terrorism. Some of these terrorists have links to 9/11.
Thousands of American soldiers and civil servants have lost their lives in the War on Terror. Innocent citizens of many nations, including Americans killed on 9/11, have also paid the ultimate price. While the US government claims to stand against terror, this same government refuses to acknowledge its role in creating what has become a deadly international quagmire. Visas for al-Qaeda: CIA Handouts That Rocked the World sets the record straight by laying the blame on high-ranking US government officials.
9/11 trial on hold after Gitmo detainees accuse translator of being CIA torturer
Published time: February 09, 2015 21:32 Russia Today
A military judge halted a hearing at Guantanamo Bay on Monday when two detainees being tried in connection with the September 11 terror attacks said they recognized their translator from a secret CIA prison where they were formerly held.
Moments into the proceedings – the first hearing in six months – Army Col. James L. Pohl recessed court after one defendant, then another, objected to their English-to-Arabic translator, journalists reported from Gitmo.
“The problem is I cannot trust him because he was working at the black site with the CIA, and we know him from there,” defendant Ramzi Bin Al-Shibh said soon after Monday morning’s hearing began, according to the Miami Herald.
Once Al-Shibh made the allegation, an attorney for co-defendant Walid bin Attash said her client was “visibly shaken” upon seeing the man during Monday’s proceedings and raised the same objection.
Read article here
By Prof Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research, December 11, 2014
The words “possible criminal actions” by CIA employees are used in the report.
The terms unethical and immoral are mentioned. The criminality of those who ordered these actions at the highest levels of government, however, is not acknowledged.
The actions directed against alleged jihadists are categorized as ineffective in the process of revealing intelligence. This in itself is a red herring. The objective of torture was not to reveal intelligence.
What of course is not acknowledged is that the alleged terrorists who were tortured were framed by the CIA.
Known and documented the Al Qaeda network is a creation of US intelligence.
The jihadists are “intelligence assets”.
Torture serves to perpetuate the legend that the evil terrorists are real and that the lives of Americans are threatened.
Torture is presented as “collateral damage.” Torture is an integral part of war propaganda which consists in demonizing the alleged terrorists.
And the Senate committee report ultimately upholds the legitimacy of the US intelligence apparatus, the US government, its military and intelligence agenda and its “humanitarian wars” waged in different parts of the World.
The term “legally misguided” is mentioned but the fact that these actions were “illegal” and “criminal” is casually dismissed.
According to Senator Feinstein: “The CIA plays an incredibly important part in our nation’s security and has thousands of dedicated and talented employees.”
The actions documented by the Senate report were undertaken from 2001-2009, namely during the Bush administration, overlapping into the Obama presidency. This inevitably raises the issue of responsibility of the current US administration. There is no evidence that these practices were abandoned by the Obama presidency. In fact quite the opposite.
And the “Global War on Terrorism” prevails with new initiatives on the drawing board of the Pentagon.
The Role of 9/11
9/11 serves as a justification for the torture program in the same way as it served as a justification to wage war on Afghanistan and Iraq. According to Senator Feinstein:
“All of us have vivid memories of that Tuesday morning when terror struck New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.
“Make no mistake, on September 11, 2001 war was declared on the United States.
“Terrorists struck our financial center. They struck our military center. And they tried to strike our political center and would have, had brave and courageous passengers not brought down the plane.
“We still vividly remember the mix of outrage and deep despair and sadness as we watched from Washington.
“Smoke rising from the Pentagon. The passenger plane lying in a Pennsylvania field. The sound of bodies striking canopies at ground level as innocents jumped to the ground below from the World Trade Center.
– Read more here : http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-role-of-911-in-justifying-torture-and-war-the-criminalization-of-the-us-state-apparatus-senate-report-on-cia-torture-is-a-whitewash/5419222#sthash.meA0TXPG.dpuf
By Julie Lévesque
Global Research, December 09, 2014
Last Wednesday December 3, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May read a petition calling for a parliamentary review “of the omissions and inconsistencies in the official United States of America 9/11 Commission Report.” (Full text of the petition below.)
It comes as no surprise that the mainstream media ridiculed her for presenting the petition, something New Democratic Party deputy Paul Dewar had refused to do.
“I do not agree with petition. It is an obligation of an MP to present every petition submitted to them,” May commented. The media immediately pointed out that it is not an obligation, insinuating that May chose to present the petition either because she supports the cause or to please her constituents.
“MPs are not not bound to present petitions and cannot be compelled to do so; nevertheless, it is evident that many Members consider it a duty to present to the House petitions brought forward by citizens,” according to the House of Commons Procedure and Practice.
Typical media reaction
The media reaction came as expected, in its predictable prepackaged biased mixture of half truths and derision:
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May put forward a bizarre petition in the House of Commons Wednesday asking the government to support a popular 9/11 conspiracy theory. (Jesse Tahirali, Elizabeth May presents ’9/11 truther’ petition to Parliament, CTVNews.ca, December 4, 2014)
Calls to investigate 9/11 are a common refrain among conspiracy theorists who doubt the official version of events, that two airliners hijacked by al-Qaeda terrorists brought down the World Trade Center towers. Many insist the twin towers were instead brought down in a controlled demolition with the U.S. government’s prior knowledge or active participation. (Ishmael N. Daro, Elizabeth May presents 9/11 ‘Truther’ petition in the House of Commons, Postmedia, December 4, 2014)
On the one hand, among the deranged subcultures of the extreme left, Truthers represent a constituency who are organized, energetic, and (in their own way) politically informed - precisely the sort of highly-motivated go-getters any self-respecting kook party would want onside…
Their message has been heard, their crankish conspiracy theory has been legitimized as a perfectly valid “voice” in our national dialogue, and, most importantly, their perception of the Greens as a party that’s sympathetic to their existence (even if only to a point) has been reconfirmed. (J.J McCullough, Elizabeth May’s 9/11 ‘truther’ petition reveals Green Party cranks, Sun News, December 6, 2014)
Read more here
Another Fake Bin Laden Story
By Paul Craig Roberts
November 10, 2014 “ICH” – RT, one of my favorite news sources, has fallen for a fake story put out by the Pentagon to support the fantasy story that a SEAL team killed Osama bin Laden, who died a second time in Abbottabad, Pakistan, a decade after his first death from illness and disease. http://rt.com/usa/202895-navy-seal-shot-binladen/
This fake story together with the fake movie and the fake book by an alleged SEAL team member is the way the fake story of bin Laden’s murder is perpetrated. Bin Laden’s alleged demise at the hands of a SEAL team was a propaganda orchestration, the purpose of which was to give Obama a hero’s laurels and deep six Democratic talk of challenging his nomination for a second term.
Osama bin Laden died in December 2001 of renal failure and other health problems, having denied in his last recorded video any responsibility for 9/11, instead directing Americans to look inside their own government. The FBI itself has stated that there is no evidence that Osama bin Laden is responsible for 9/11. Bin Laden’s obituary appeared in numerous foreign and Arabic press, and also on Fox News. No one can survive renal failure for a decade, and no dialysis machine was found in the alleged Abbottabad compound of bin Laden, who allegedly was murdered by SEALs a decade after his obituary notices.
Additionally, no one among the crew of the ship from which the White House reported bin Laden was buried at sea saw any such burial, and the sailors sent messages home to that effect. Somehow a burial was held onboard a ship on which there are constant watches and crew on alert at all hours, and no one witnessed it.
Additionally, the White House story of the alleged murder of bin Laden changed twice within the first 24 hours. The claim that Obama and his government watched the action transmitted live from cameras on the SEALs’ helmets was quickly abandoned, despite the release of a photo of the Obama regime intently focused on a TV set and alleged to be watching the live action. No video of the deed was ever released. To date there is no evidence whatsoever in behalf of the Obama regime’s claim. Not one tiny scrap. Just unsubstantiated self-serving claims.
Additionally, as I have made available on my website, witnesses interviewed by Pakistan TV reported that only one helicopter landed in Abbottabad and that when the occupants of the helicopter returned from the alleged bin Laden compound, the helicopter exploded on takeoff and there were no survivors. In other words, there was no bin Laden corpse to deliver to the ship that did not witness a burial and no SEAL hero to return who allegedly murdered an unarmed bin Laden. Moreover, the BBC interviewed residents in Abbottabad, including those next door to the alleged “bin Laden compound,” and all say that they knew the person who lived there and it was not bin Laden.
Any SEAL who was so totally stupid as to kill the unarmed “Terror Mastermind” would probably have been courtmartialed for incompetency. Look at the smiling face of the man Who Killed Bin Laden. He thinks that his claim that he murdered a man makes him a hero, a powerful comment on the moral degeneracy of Americans.
So what is this claim by Rob O’Neill about? He is presented as a “motivational speaker” in search of clients. What better ploy among gullible Americans than to claim “I am the one who shot bin Laden.” Reminds me of the western movie: The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. What better way to give Rob O’Neill’s claim validity than for the Pentagon to denounce his revelation for breaking obligation to remain silent. The Pentagon claims that O’Neill by claiming credit has painted a big target sign on our door asking ISIS to come get us
What unbelievable nonsense. ISIS and anyone who believed Obama’s claim to have done in bin Laden already knew, if they believed the lie, that the Obama regime claimed responsibility for murdering an unarmed bin Laden. The reason the SEAL team was prevented from talking is that no member of the team was on the alleged mission,
Just as the ship from which bin Laden was allegedly buried has no witnesses to the deed, the SEAL unit, whose members formed the team that allegedly dispatched an unarmed Terrorist Mastermind rather than to take him into custody for questioning, mysteriously died in a helicopter crash when they were loaded in violation of procedures in an unprotected 1960s vintage helicopter and sent into a combat zone in Afghanistan shortly after the alleged raid on “bin Laden’s compound.”
For awhile there were news reports that the families of these dead SEALS do not believe one word of the government’s account. Moreover, the families reported receiving messages from the SEALs that suddenly they felt threatened and did not know why. The SEALs had been asking one another: “Were you on the bin Laden mission?” Apparently, none were. And to keep this a secret, the SEALs were sent to their deaths.
Anyone who believes anything the US government says is gullible beyond the meaning of the word.
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts’ latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West and How America Was Lost.
9/11 Was NATO’s License to Expand Globally
By Wayne Madsen
Global Research, October 31, 2014
Strategic Culture Foundation 30 October 2014
The 9/11 attacks on the United States undoubtedly benefited a number of actors, including the American military-intelligence complex, Israel, and most definitely, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The Cold War-era, the area of responsibility for which had long been confined to Europe and North America, used the provisions of Article 5 of the NATO Charter – which states that an attack on one member is an attack on all – to extend NATO’s power deep into Eurasia, particularly in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Kyrgyzstan.
After engaging in out-of-area invasions and occupations of Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Libya, and Syria and, again in Iraq, against the «Islamic State,» the «North Atlantic» military bloc has transformed itself from a Cold War defensive alliance into a global offensive axis of nations that acts with or without United Nations authorization.
NATO has also become an instrument of neo-colonialism. Under its umbrella or the European Union, NATO established quasi-colonial governments in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, South Sudan, and Libya, as well as a Syrian government-in-exile in Turkey. Political advisers from NATO nations have acted as virtual viceroys, exercising veto authority over the governments installed with Western military might.
Read full article here
Russell Brand causes controversy over 9/11 comments
Last updated 10:55 25/10/2014
UK comedian Russell Brand said people should be “open-minded” about the view that the US government was responsible for the 9/11 attacks.
In a combative and at times cringe-worthy interview on BBC’s Newsnight, the author and actor said he found the relationship between the families of former US president George W Bush and al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden “interesting”.
“I think it is interesting at this time when we have so little trust in our political figures, where ordinary people have so little trust in their media, we have to remain open-minded to any kind of possibility,” he told interviewer Evan Davis.
“Do you trust the American government? Do you trust the British government? What I do think is very interesting is the relationship that the Bush family have had for a long time with the Bin Laden family.
“What I do think is very interesting is the way that even the BBC report the events in Ottawa to subtly build an anti-Islamic narrative. I think that’s very interesting. I think it’s interesting the way these tragic events are used to enforce further controls on us.”
However, when pressed by Davis on whether he was suggesting the Bush family was involved in the 9/11 attacks, Brand responded: “I don’t want to talk about daft conspiracy theories”.
The BBC said it had received nine complaints following the interview.
“Love him or loathe him Russell Brand has been one of the most eloquent voices articulating the anti-politics mood that all British politicians are currently struggling to engage with,” a spokesman said said.
Brand, who was fired from MTV after dressing as Osama bin Laden to work the day after the 9/11 attacks, was on the show to promote his new book Revolution.
The whole interview was strained and shouty, with Brand embarking on a series of rants and accusing his interviewer of being patronising and rude.
At one point, an exhausted Davis exclaimed: “I’m trying to take you seriously”.
Brand, who has written regularly for The Guardian, stirred controversy when he appeared on Newsnight last year and said he had never voted because of “absolute indifference and weariness and exhaustion from the lies, treachery and deceit of the political class”.
– Sydney Morning Herald
By James F. Tracy
Global Research, September 01, 2014
In the wake of World War I, erstwhile propagandist and political scientist Harold Lasswell famously defined propaganda as “the management of collective attitudes” and the “control over opinion” through “the manipulation of significant symbols.” The extent to which this tradition is enthusiastically upheld in the West and the United States in particular is remarkable.
The American public is consistently propagandized by its government and corporate news media on the most vital of contemporary issues and events.
Deception on such a scale would be of little consequence if the US were not the most powerful economic and military force on earth.
A case in point is the hysteria Western news media are attempting to create concerning the threat posed by the mercenary-terrorist army now being promoted as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria, or “ISIS.”
As was the case with the US intelligence asset and bogey publicized as “Al Qaeda,” and Al Qaeda’s Syrian adjunct, “Al Nusra,” such entities are—apparently by design—inadequately investigated and defined by major news media. Absent meaningful historical context they usefully serve as another raison d’ểtre for America’s terminal “War on Terror.”
A seemingly obvious feature of such terrorist forces left unexamined by corporate media is that they are observably comprised of the same or comparable personnel unleashed elsewhere throughout the Middle East as part of a strategy proposed during the George W. Bush administration in 2007.
Read full article here