We live in very strange times. Just a couple of months ago none of us would have thought that we’d be “locked down” at home because of a virus. Hardly anyone had even used the term ‘Social Distancing’ before and now it’s a part of everyday language. Precedents have been set during this outbreak. This video explores those precedents and why we are being told that life may not ever be the same. I’d like to remind you that in Australia the deaths from COVID19 are still way below the average for Influenza yet we are still living with dramatically curtailed freedoms. Something to think about.
By Max Parry
Global Research, April 22, 2020
The Unz Review 9 April 2020
The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary” — H.L. Mencken
As the global pandemic grips world attention, completely unnoticed by mainstream media was the release of a final report of an academic study pertaining to another previously calamitous event of international significance. On March 25th, the conclusion of a four year investigation by researchers at the University of Alaska Fairbanks was published which determined that the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 on September 11th, 2001 was not caused by fire.
The peer-reviewed inquiry was funded by Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth, a nonprofit organization composed of more than 3,000 building architects and engineers who are a signatory to the group’s formal appeal calling for a new investigation into the three — not two — WTC skyscrapers destroyed on 9/11. The researchers infer that the collapse of Building 7 was actually the result of a controlled demolition:
“The principal conclusion of our study is that fire did not cause the collapse of WTC 7 on 9/11, contrary to the conclusions of NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) and private engineering firms that studied the collapse. The secondary conclusion of our study is that the collapse of WTC 7 was a global failure involving the near-simultaneous failure of every column in the building.”
With or without a pandemic, it is likely corporate media would have ignored the study anyway, just as they have anything that contradicts the official story of 9/11. However, it is notable that many have drawn parallels between the COVID-19 outbreak and the 9/11 attacks based on the widespread changes to daily life as a result of the crisis going forward. Already there is talk of nationwide lockdowns as a “new normal” with many rightly expressing concerns over civil liberties, press freedoms, the surveillance state, and other issues just as there were following 9/11. By the same measure, a false dichotomy is being established by political gatekeepers in order to silence those who dare challenge the official account as to how the coronavirus began. It is a stigmatization that is all too familiar to those who have never believed the conventional narrative that 19 Arab hijackers loyal to Osama bin Laden armed only with box-cutters were solely responsible for the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on that fateful day.
There is a common misconception that to believe in so-called “conspiracy theories” is to somehow lose sight of the bigger picture or systemic problems. Behind this phenomenon is a mistakenly presumed conflict between understanding the broader, overarching system versus the sinister motives of those in power who administer it — when they are inextricably linked. Political scientist Michael Parenti, who drew the ire of many of his fellow left-wing colleagues for his work on the Kennedy assassination, refers to it in his lecture “Understanding Deep Politics” as a perceived incompatibility between “the structural and the functional.” The anti-conspiracists wrongly assume that the more impersonal or wider the lens, the more profound an analysis. By this logic, the elite are absolved of conscious intent and deliberate pursuit of nefarious self-interest, as if everything is done by incidental chance or out of incompetence. Not to say efficacy applies without exception, but it has become a required gesture to disassociate oneself from “conspiracies” to maintain credibility — ironically even by those who are often the target of such smears themselves.
This applies not only to mainstream media and academics, but even leading progressive figures who have a mechanical, unthinking resistance to assigning intent or recognizing the existence of hidden agendas. As a result, it disappears the class interests of the ruling elite and ultimately assists them in providing cover for their crimes. With the exception of the Kennedy assassination — coincidentally the subject of a new epic chart-topping song by Bob Dylan — nowhere has there been more hostility to ‘conspiracism’ than regarding the events of 9/11. Just as they assailed Parenti, David Talbot and others for challenging the Warren Commission’s ‘lone gunman’ theory, leading figures on the left such as Noam Chomsky and the late Alexander Cockburn railed against the 9/11 Truth movement and today it is often wrongly equated with right-wing politics, an unlikely trajectory given it occurred under an arch-conservative administration but an inevitable result of the pseudo-left’s aversion to “conspiracies.” If polls are any indication, the average American certainly disagrees with such elitist misleaders as to the believability of the sham 9/11 Commission findings, yet another example of how out-of-touch the faux-left is with ordinary people.
A more recent example was an article by left-wing journalist Ben Norton proclaiming that to call 9/11 a false flag or an “inside job” is “fundamentally a right-wing conspiracy”, in complete disregard of the many dedicated truther activists on the left since its inception. Norton insists the 9/11 attacks were simply “blowback”, or an unintended consequence of previous U.S. foreign policy support for the mujahideen in Afghanistan against the Soviets during the 1980s which later gave birth to Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Norton argues “Al-Qaeda’s unofficial strategic alliance with the US eventually broke down” resulting in 9/11 as retaliation, completely overlooking that Washington was still supporting jihadist factions during the 1990s in Bosnia (two of which would be alleged 9/11 hijackers) and Kosovo in the Yugoslav wars against Serbia, even while the U.S. was ostensibly pursuing bin Laden for the bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa in 1998 and the USS Cole in 2000.
A 1997 Congressional document by the Republican Policy Committee (RPC) throws light on how Washington never discontinued its practice in Afghanistan of using jihadist proxies to achieve its foreign policy goals in the Balkans. Although it was a partisan GOP attack meant to discredit then-U.S. President Bill Clinton, nevertheless the memo accurately presents how the U.S. had “turned Bosnia into a Militant Islamic Base”:
“In short, the Clinton administration’s policy of facilitating the delivery of arms to the Bosnian Muslims made it the de facto partner of an international network of governments and organizations pursuing their own agenda in Bosnia: the promotion of Islamic revolution in Europe. That network not only involves Iran but Brunei, Malaysia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan (a key ally of Iran), and Turkey, together with front groups supposedly pursuing humanitarian and cultural activities. For example, one such group about which details have come to light is the Third World Relief Agency (TWRA), a Sudan-based, phoney humanitarian organization which has been a major link in the arms pipeline to Bosnia. TWRA is believed to be connected with such fixtures of the Islamic terror network as Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman (the convicted mastermind behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing) and Osama Bin Laden , a wealthy Saudi émigré believed to bankroll numerous militant groups…”
It was also in Bosnia where a raid was conducted in 2002 by local police at the Sarajevo branch of a Saudi-based purported charitable organization, Benevolence International Foundation, which was discovered to be a front for Al-Qaeda. Seized on the premises was a document, dubbed the “Golden Chain”, which listed the major financial sponsors of the terrorist organization to be numerous Saudi business and government figures, including some of Osama bin Laden’s own brothers. By the 9/11 Commission Report’s own admission, this same fake Islamic charity “supported the Bosnian Muslims in their conflict with Serbia” at the same time as the CIA.
It cannot go without mentioning that the common link between Al-Qaeda and subsequent extremist groups like ISIS/Daesh and Boko Haram is the doctrine of Wahhabism, the puritanical sect of Sunni Islam practiced in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and founded in the 18th century by Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, the religious leader who formed an alliance with the founder of the first Saudi state, Muhammad bin Saud, whose descendants make up the House of Saud royal family. The ultra-orthodox teachings of Wahhabism were initially rejected in the Middle East but reestablished by British colonialism which aligned with the Saud family in order to use their intolerant strain of Islam to undermine the Ottoman empire in a divide-and-conquer strategy. In a speech to the House of Commons in 1921, Winston Churchill admitted the Saudis to be “intolerant, well-armed and bloodthirsty.”
This did not stop the British from supporting the House of Saud so long as it was in the interest of Western imperialism, an unholy alliance which continues to this day. However, U.S.-Saudi relations did come under scrutiny when the infamous 28 redacted pages of the December 2002 report of the “Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities before and after the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001” conducted by the Senate and House Select Committees on Intelligence were finally disclosed in 2016. The section revealed not only the numerous U.S. intelligence failures in the lead-up to the attacks but the long suspected culpability of Saudi Arabia, whose nationals were not the focus of counterterrorism because of Riyadh’s status as a U.S. ally. The declassified pages show that some of the hijackers, 15 of them Saudi citizens, received financial and logistical support from individuals linked to the Saudi government, which FBI sources believed at least two of which to be Saudi intelligence officers. One of those Saudi agents received large payments from Princess Haifa, the wife of Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan, a stipend from the latter’s bank account which inevitably went from the go-betweens to the sleeper cell.
Read full article here
We can’t let the coronavirus lead to a 9/11-style erosion of civil liberties
Samuel Miller McDonald
We must reject such authoritarian measures wholly, no matter who says they’re ‘necessary’
As a millennial, much of my adulthood has been punctuated by severe national emergencies. The first my generation experienced was the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. We all watched in horror as the months-long media spectacle replayed footage of the towers swallowing airplanes and crumbling into fire and dust. The moment of national solidarity and everyday heroism was brief.
The government quickly responded by attempting to achieve two things: one, expanding executive power, and two, transferring public wealth into private corporations. The Bush administration achieved the first by passing the Patriot Act, which built the foundation for what is probably the world’s most expansive surveillance state, but also by setting legal precedents that violated basic constitutional rights and by creating the Department for Homeland Security, with its aggressive constituent agencies like Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The second goal was achieved with the “war on terror”, which involved unilateral occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq, and subsequent military forays into many African countries. In Iraq, private security, logistics and reconstruction contractors swallowed up $138bn alone. Since 2001, $5.9tn in taxpayer dollars have gone toward wars (not to mention resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths and a foreign policy blackhole that still haunts the Middle East). Neither of these goals addressed the root cause of the crisis, and arguably exacerbated the conditions that led to 9/11.
Read article here
Today’s crisis, in many ways, resonates with the experience of the tragedy of September 11, 2001. At that time, the American people were shocked by a series of terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. In 2001, the majority of people accepted the official narrative about these attacks, the origin and those who committed these heinous crimes. But soon many contradictions became apparent and did not support the official narrative. Honest people did not accept the official story as to why “building seven” in the World Trade Center complex (which was not hit directly), collapsed in a controlled demolition style! They were puzzled about the attack against the Pentagon at that time and still are perplexed regarding what happened to the airplane that supposedly hit and made a small hole on the side of the building, without a trace of any plane wreckage or remains of its passengers?
In this light, it is not farfetched nor unreasonable to speculate about the origin of this virus. Mr. Trump insists that this virus is “Chinese”. Mr. Pompeo repeatedly referring to the new Coronavirus as the “Wuhan virus”. The Trump Administration and commercial media, in full force, are spreading the xenophobia against Chinese people in general and Chinese-American citizens in particular. Just like September 11, once again a group of people have been singled out and terrorized through unsubstantiated and fake news, in this case, Chinese-American communities.
Read article here
Legal team also reveals that murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi was ‘potential witness’ in lawsuit
By MEE staff in Washington
Published date: 5 March 2020 20:39 UTC | Last update: 2 days 1 hour ago
A legal team representing survivors and families of victims of the 9/11 attacks has accused Saudi authorities of trying to silence several witnesses.
An almost two-decades-old lawsuit brought to court by thousands of victims and their families accuses Saudi officials of having ties to the 11 September 2001 attacks on New York and Washington. About 3,000 people were killed.
On Wednesday, lawyers representing the families said that four of their witnesses in the case had been threatened or intimidated by alleged Saudi agents.
On those grounds, the plaintiffs’ legal team requested that the identities of the witnesses in the drawn-out legal battle be protected and kept secret.
Lawyers representing the Saudi government denied the allegations of witness tampering, saying the claims were “based on hearsay within hearsay”.
The defense also accused the plaintiffs’ lawyers of trying to gain a “tactical advantage” in legal deposition interviews with witnesses set to be organised later this month.
Jamal Khashoggi: ‘A potential witness’
The lawyers of the 9/11 victims invoked the 2018 murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi officials in Turkey as evidence of the kingdom’s potential threat against their witnesses.
The 9/11 lawsuit looming over Saudi Arabia’s ambitions
Andrew Maloney, one of several attorneys representing the plaintiffs, also for the first time revealed that Khashoggi, an ardent critic of the Saudi government, had been “a potential witness” before he was murdered.
“He had valuable information,” Maloney told the judge on Wednesday.
Maloney, during the emergency hearing that took place at a federal court in lower Manhattan, did not provide further details regarding what that information might have been.
US Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn said she was “troubled by the allegations” and asked for a submission from the plaintiffs’ lawyers detailing the claims to be turned in by 18 March.
“I take these allegations incredibly seriously,” Netburn said.
In court papers, Maloney described some of the allegations made by the four witnesses who said they feared they were being targeted by Saudi officials.
One witness said his family had been approached and “directly threatened by Saudi government officials” within the past year, Maloney wrote. He said the witness was given to understand that he or his relatives “would be murdered” if he spoke out.
Another potential witness said that relatives in Saudi Arabia “feared for their lives”, Maloney said. A third reported being stalked, and another was reportedly thinking of buying a bulletproof vest.
He added that law enforcement authorities had been notified of the alleged threats.
“We categorically deny these allegations,” said Michael Kellogg, a DC-based lawyer representing Saudi Arabia.
Kellogg accused the plaintiff’s legal team of trying to “pick and choose which witnesses will testify”.
“We should be allowed to know who these witnesses are,” Kellogg told Judge Netburn. “We think these allegations are absolutely false.”
Following Kellogg’s statements, the plaintiffs’ lawyer accused the defense of wanting to know the identities of the witnesses so that Saudi officials could be notified and “dissuade them from testifying”.
“[No] Saudi Arabian government official, employee, agent, or anyone acting on Saudi Arabia’s behalf has attempted to threaten any potential witness or any witness’s family members in this proceeding,” a Saudi government minister said in court papers.
Saudi diplomat linked to 9/11
The US government has never released documentation indicating that the Saudi government was involved in 9/11.
US judge allows 9/11 lawsuits against Saudi Arabia to proceed
Still, last year during a meeting at the White House with victims’ families on the anniversary of the attacks, US President Donald Trump promised the visitors that he would order the attorney general to release the name of a Saudi diplomat who had apparently been linked to 9/11 in an FBI report years earlier.
The next day those hopes were dashed, as Attorney General William Barr said the release of such records would not be possible.
Their disclosure risked “significant harm to the national security,” Barr said at the time.
The Saudi government has long denied involvement in the 9/11 attacks.
In March 2018, a US judge in New York rejected Saudi Arabia’s request to dismiss the lawsuit.
We are saddened to hear the news this morning of Jeanette Fitzsimons who passed away late last night. Jeanette Fitzsimons is a signatory on the Political Leaders of 911 truth Website and met with Richard Gage, AIA in Wellington when he spoke at Te Papa in November 2009.
From the Statement of Jeanette Fitzsimons, Co-leader of the New Zealand Green Party since 1995, and member of the House of Representatives since 1999
There is so much that does not make sense about the official version of 911. I have read all 600 plus pages of “Crossing the Rubicon” and it appears to me to be well researched, though I still have an open mind on the matter of what exactly did happen. It is time we knew the truth one way or another, and an independent enquiry is the way to achieve this. If we do not know the truth of our history it will compromise our future.
Perhaps, it was reading Mike Ruppert’s examination of 911 and the geo-political relationship to Peak Oil in his book Crossing the Rubicon that may have lead her to be one of the first signers of the Political leaders for 911 truth petition. I remember that when Jeanette Fitzsimons met with Richard Gage, AIA in Wellington in November 2009, she had with her Ruppert’s book Crossing the Rubicon which was open at the appendix where the document Operation Northwoods was displayed. One of her first questions To Mr Gage was “Tell me is this document true?”
We thank Jeanette Fitzsimons for her courage and leadership in giving her support to a new 9/11 investigation and for her service to Aotearoa, New Zealand. May she rest in peace.
January 28th, 2020
By Darius Shahtahmasebi
Last month the coalition government declared the end of New Zealand Defence Force deployments in Iraq. The announcement was silent, however, about the future of another deployment of New Zealand personnel, to a U.S. military base in the Middle East that has attracted controversy thanks to its role at the center of a large proportion of U.S. bombing missions in the region.
The base is called the Combined Air Operations Center (CAOC) and it is located at the Al-Udeid airbase in the small Persian Gulf nation of Qatar. Bombing missions that have been controlled from the base – where aircraft take off and land every 10 minutes, 24 hours a day – are implicated in large numbers of civilian casualties.
A recent issue of Air Force News revealed that a senior air force officer, Group Captain Shaun Sexton, served a six-month posting at the Qatar base; placing New Zealanders at the heart of the main targeting and bombing center in that region. The presence of New Zealand staff at the base has been kept largely quiet by the New Zealand military before now.
Last month, the New Zealand government delivered its decision to withdraw NZDF personnel from Iraq by next year. But what of Qatar? A spokesperson for NZDF told the Spinoff that “NZDF personnel based in the Combined Air Operations Center (CAOC) operate under a separate mandate to the NZDF personnel in Iraq. This mandate has been approved until 2020.” Whether they intend to maintain the postings to the Qatar base after 2020 remains unclear.
Read rest of article here
The dubious legal proceedings at the Guantanomo Bay (Gitmo) prison camp continue to promote the idea of justice for victims of 9/11. Unfortunately, these proceedings do not represent an administration of law but an unstated claim that the Global War on Terror is above the law. More importantly, the Gitmo antics have one obvious objective—to perpetuate willful ignorance of the 9/11 crimes. There is a dangerous elephant in the Gitmo courtroom, however, and if it ever gets reported it could bring down the terror-torture house of cards.
Reporters covering Gitmo continue to call it a trial but it is not a trial, it is a “military tribunal.” They continue to call the site “Camp Justice” when justice is as far from the prison camp as it has ever been from any human endeavor. What they don’t do is think critically about the information they are parroting from court sources.
The history is profoundly absurd. The suspects were brutally tortured and held without charges for up to 18 years. The alleged evidence obtained from the torture was made secret. Then the records of the secret torture evidence were illegally destroyed. Then the secret evidence simply turned out to be completely false. FBI and CIA officers then began to make a mockery of the whole thing, secretly bugging defense team discussion rooms and covertly inserting themselves as translators and defense team members.
This is not just a matter of an extreme violation of human rights and an utter disrespect for the law. Within this sequence of stupidity looms the mother of all oversights. That is, the secret evidence that turned out to be false was used as the basis for The 9/11 Commission Report.
At the center of the media’s willful ignorance is “forever prisoner” Abu Zubaydah, the first alleged al Qaeda leader captured and tortured. In 2009, the U.S. government began correcting the record by admitting, in habeus corpus proceedings, that Zubaydah was never associated with al Qaeda and that he had no role in, or knowledge of, the 9/11 attacks. That Zubaydah was never associated with al Qaeda is no longer challenged by anyone and is regularly repeated in the mainstream press. What is not mentioned is the astounding implication of that admission.
Abu Zubaydah’s “torture testimony” was used to construct the official narrative of 9/11 that is still accepted as fact today.
Check for yourself. Do a quick search for the word “Zubaydah” in The 9/11 Commission Report. You’ll find it 52 times. As you read these references and claims, ask yourself—how could a man who the government now says had nothing to do with al Qaeda have known any of these things? How could he be a key travel facilitator for al Qaeda operatives when he wasn’t associated in any way with al Qaeda? How could Zubaydah give detailed accounts of Osama bin Laden and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM)’s plans for 9/11 when he had no knowledge of those plans?
Disassociating Zubaydah from al Qaeda causes so many problems for the official narrative of al Qaeda and 9/11 that people like Lee Hamilton, the co-chairman of the 9/11 Commission, simply develop amnesia when asked about him.
As seen in the 9/11 Commission Report, the official account begins with linking “Mukhtar” (KSM) to “al Qaeda lieutenant Abu Zubaydah,” who we now know was never associated with al Qaeda. Both FBI interrogator Ali Soufan, in a 2009 New York Times opinion piece, and Vice President Dick Cheney, in his 2011 book, claimed that Zubaydah (who never had any knowledge or connection to 9/11) identified KSM as the “mastermind of the 9/11 attacks.” The official account of 9/11, and the ongoing fake trial at Gitmo, all proceeded from there.
But none of it was true.
The latest crime of 9/11 is that this fact is not being reported. The media admits that Zubaydah was never associated with al Qaeda but entirely ignores the devastating consequences of that admission. The false official account for 9/11 is the root cause and ongoing justification for greater crimes—1) wars of aggression in multiple countries that have destroyed millions of lives, 2) the public’s acceptance of torture and indefinite detention, and 3) mass surveillance and an overall attack on freedom.
Instead of reporting that the basis for those greater crimes has been obliterated, the media reduces the subject to a discussion of how torture is bad but perhaps still justified by the gain. Of course, torture is bad but mass murder is much worse and the justification for both the wars and the torture is now indefensible! Until the media reports this fact there will be no justice for victims of 9/11 or for the victims of the resulting wars and torture.
We know that there are many striking anomalies and inexplicable facts about 9/11 that have yet to be resolved. But the fake Gitmo trial stands as a final absurd crime in the history of 9/11 as it is represented as an attempt at justice yet includes more farcical elements every day. For example, the CIA-driven architect of the torture program recently claimed that he was acting on behalf of the 9/11 families and that he would do it again.
The final proceedings have been set to officially begin in January 2021, aligning with the 20th anniversary news cycle and re-emphasizing that propaganda is the primary goal. The propaganda narrative focuses on setting the false official account in stone and further normalizing torture. Sadly, reporters and editors covering these events don’t seem to have an interest in challenging any substantial part of the story. Let’s hope that one or more of them comes to their senses and proves that suspicion wrong.
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This article was originally published on the author’s blog site, Dig Within.
The original source of this article is Global Research
Copyright © Kevin Ryan, Global Research, 2020
Thank you to Greg and Stephanie who carried an informative and attention grabbing banner to the peace march today which attracted a lot of attention from passers by in Cuba Mall.
A French publisher has apologised after a history textbook that appeared in bookshops in recent weeks suggested the 11 September 2001 attacks were probably “orchestrated by the CIA”.
The debunked conspiracy theory was apparently highlighted on social media initially by a group of schoolteachers.
The book History of the 20th Century in Flash Cards is aimed at undergraduate students.
On its website, the publisher said the phrase should never have appeared.
“This phrase which echoes conspiracy theories devoid of any factual basis should never have been used in this work. It doesn’t reflect the editorial position either of Ellipses publications or the author,” it said (in French).
The textbook is described as a complete course on the last century in French, European and world history. It was written by Jean-Pierre Rocher, a teacher of history and geography and a graduate of the Sciences Po university in Paris, and aimed at Sciences Po undergraduates as well as students preparing for France’s elite “grandes écoles”.
Although the book came out in November, it was not until the daughter of one of the secondary school teachers bought a copy that one of them spotted the reference to the CIA.
On page 204 the author explains the context of the creation of the jihadist group, al-Qaeda and the “quadruple terrorist attack of 11/9 2001 on New York and Washington”. He then makes the following statement.
“This global event – no doubt orchestrated by the CIA (secret services) to impose American influence on the Middle East? – hit the symbols of American power on its own territory.”
The teacher immediately shared his concerns on a teachers’ Facebook group whose spokesman, Bruno Modica, told Le Monde “it blew up very quickly”.
“There were 122 comments; this inserted clause of his conveys a conspiracy theory you can hear in our classrooms, from some pupils’ mouths; but to find it written by a teacher and in this type of publication is unacceptable.”
Read more here