Jul 172020
 

https://www.globalresearch.ca/day-after-nine-eleven-security-council-passes-resolution-1368-starts-pillar-four-united-nations/5718707

The first draft of this article was written in 2014. It is now ready for publication (including several corrections).

The first overt diplomatic achievement by the United States related to 9/11, was Resolution No. 1368. It was adopted at noontime by the UN Security Council on September 12, 2001. The resolution contained the obligatory statements of condemnation and of solidarity with the 9/11 victims and their families. But this particular resolution manifested three puzzling features whose implications are unsettling.

Resolution 1368 included a one-paragraph preamble in which the Council “recognized the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence in accordance with the Charter.” There was no need to mention this particular principle in the resolution unless it was the intent of the Council to give the United States a wink that it may, if it wishes, use military force against any country it chooses as a response to 9/11.

Wink 

Note that the Council did not “authorize” the United States to use military force, as it had done in the case of the invasion and occupation of Kuwait by Iraq in 1990,[1] but chose to convey to the United States indirectly the message that the Council would look the other way and ask no questions, if the United States would use military force against foreign states in response to 9/11.

That is precisely what happened: The U.S. bombing campaign against Afghanistan and the subsequent occupation of that country was not condemned by any member of the Security Council, although it was a violation of customary international law – as established on the basis of the so-called Caroline doctrine – and of the U.N. Charter.

According to the Caroline doctrine, the resort to self-defense requires “a necessity of self-defence, instant, overwhelming, leaving no choice of means, and no moment of deliberation.” Furthermore, any action taken must be proportional, “since the act justified by the necessity of self-defence, must be limited by that necessity, and kept clearly within it.”

Resolution 1368 also condoned a blatant act of aggression. The International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg (1945) called the waging of aggressive war “not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.” [2]

I argue that by including the Charter’s provision on self- defense into Resolution No. 1368, Council members contributed to the violation of customary international law and the commission of the supreme international crime by the U.S. government, namely aggression.

Was 9-11 an International Act? 

Furthermore, the Council designated the events of the preceding day as an act of “international” terrorism, and “a threat to international peace and security” without being provided with the slightest evidence in support of both of these assertions. The Council is not known to have at any time requested or obtained such evidence.

Note: it is the formula “threat to international peace” that gives the UNSC the authority to issue resolutions that bind member states. I am referring to Article 39 of the UN Charter:

” The Security Council shall determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression and shall make recommendations, or decide what measures shall be taken in accordance with Articles 41 and 42, to maintain or restore international peace and security.”

According to the US’s official account, four airliners in domestic routes were hijacked by 19 passengers on September 11, 2001. Even if that account had been true – which it is not – it would not have amounted to an act of “international” terrorism, but would remain a large-scale act of domestic terrorism by travelers whose real identities remain in question.

A further puzzling feature is the swiftness with which Resolution 1368 was adopted. Had the above two features not been included in the resolution – calling 9/11 international terrorism and designating terrorism as a threat to peace — there would be nothing odd about the fact that it was adopted one day after the attacks.

Numerous governments and inter-governmental organisations adopted resolutions on the very day of the attacks, September 11, 2001, in which they condemned the attacks and expressed solidarity with the victims.  They, however, carefully refrained from designating the attacks as containing an international dimension.

Vast Implications 

The two features discussed above were neither self-evident nor necessary, yet have vast legal and political implications. It is inconceivable that individuals sitting in the Council, representing their governments, would approve the wording of Council resolutions on the base of their personal feelings, no matter how strong.

Drafts of Security Council resolutions, particularly those which contain legal precedents or entail legal consequences, are typically examined – down to their punctuation – by legal experts in the home countries of the Council’s members. It is inconceivable that experts around the world would be able to assess within hours the legal and political ramifications of the features discussed above.

I can conceive of only two explanations for this apparent swiftness: Either the United States (backed by its NATO allies) threatened the governments of the other Security Council members with severe sanctions, should they fail to adopt this resolution, or the draft resolution had been circulated to, and approved by selected members of the Security Council prior to the events of 9/11, in order to ensure its speedy adoption on September 12, 2001. Both explanations give rise to highly disturbing questions.

Now for a comment on the probity of information put before the UNSC. The Security Council does not have to base its decisions on proven facts. It may legally base its operative decisions on hunches, hypotheticals, hearsay and even fantasy. The Security Council would be legally entitled to determine that the earth is flat, if such determination would politically suit its members.

The members of the Security Council are admittedly under the legal obligation to act in good faith, but no international entity has been set up to examine whether they have complied with this principle, and if violated, to invalidate decisions based on the breach of this principle.[3]

The readiness of all members of the Security Council to underwrite American foreign policy aims, as reflected in the provisions of Resolution No. 1368, must be regarded as a historical watershed.

The UN’s Fourth Pillar 

For years, I have been a lonely voice pointing out that the UNSC’s Permanent Five (US, UK, France, Russia and China) have committed themselves to define “international terrorism” as a major threat to world peace. This definition is a monumental lie, for terrorism is not even a threat to the sovereignty, national defense, or political order of any country. While terrorism (attacks on civilians for political purposes) is a crime, the number of people killed yearly by terrorist acts in most countries lies between zero and and 10.  In Europe, a territory of over 500 million people, about 44 people die on the average yearly in terrorist attacks (compared to over 5,000 yearly homicides).

I have repeatedly warned that the United Nations have adopted the ideology of “counter-terrorism” as one of the pillars for the entire UN system. Now, finally and belatedly, others vindicate my warnings. In June 2020, the UK-based organization Saferworld has lamented the mainstreaming of the counter-terrorism ideology within the United Nations Organization.

“For three-quarters of a century, peace, rights and development have been the three core pillars that define the UN’s unique purpose. However, in the post-9/11 era, governments’ collective determination to define terrorism as the pre-eminent global security challenge has made a deep impression on the UN [sic]. Counter-terrorism has come to the fore through a flood of UN Security Council resolutions, General Assembly strategies, new funding streams, offices, committees, working groups and staff – all dedicated to counter-terrorism.” [4]

Any Good Guys? 

I urge all those who for various reasons believe Russia and China to be “the hope for Mankind” as opposed to Western imperialism, to take a second look at this perception. The five permanent members of the UN Security Council are firmly committed to the fraudulent counter-terrorism ideology, for it provides all governments around the globe with justifications to abolish democracy and institute a digital dictatorship.

The counter-terrorism ideology, now complemented by a global health-scare campaign, is precisely the cement that binds the rulers of the P5, and it bears no relation to Al Qaeda, ISIS or other real or fake terrorist organisations. The P5, serving their ruling classes, have thus declared a war against the world’s peoples. The United Nations, once a hope for the world, have become a tool of oppression. “We the People” can trust no government and no organisation of states to ensure our rights and liberties. We must join hands across borders without state or corporate interference to restore an acceptable world order.

*

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Elias Davidsson is an Icelandic citizen living in Germany. He is a composer, human rights and peace activist and author of several books on 9/11 and false-flag terrorism.

 

Apr 232020
 

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

Feb 022020
 

New Zealand’s Hidden Role at the Biggest US Bombing Base in the Middle East


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

Jan 082020
 

Keith Locke: NZ’s response to Soleimani assassination is shamefully timid

New Zealand’s response to the Soleimani assassination is shamefully timid

Opinion – How can New Zealand claim to have an independent foreign policy when it won’t even criticise America’s assassination of Qasem Soleimani, a top Iranian leader? The furthest foreign minister Winston

Peters went was to express “strong concern” at the “heightening tensions in Iraq and the region”.

Peters’ statement could also be read as a justification for the drone killing when he acknowledged “strong US concerns about Iran” and said “the US took action on the basis of information they had”.

In fact, the assassination took place against a background of falsehoods, reminding us of the lies previously peddled to justify the 2003 US invasion of Iraq. President Donald Trump even blamed Soleimani for “terror plots as far away as New Delhi and London” while Vice President Mike Pence fancifully claimed Soleimani “assisted in the clandestine travel” of those involved in the 11 September, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center.

All we have from the United States are vague assertions that Soleimani was planning imminent attacks on US interests. More credible is the assertion of the Iraqi prime minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi that Soleimani was in Bagdad at the invitation of the Iraqi government – for negotiations. His visit was apparently not a secret and he was at Baghdad airport in the presence of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, a pro-government Iraqi militia leader, who was also assassinated.

Considering New Zealand has soldiers in Iraq, you would think Peters might have shown some interest in what his counterparts in the Iraqi Foreign Ministry thought about the assassination. They said it was “a flagrant breach of Iraq’s sovereignty and of all international laws and norms that regulate relations between countries and prohibit the use of their lands to carry out attacks on neighbouring countries”.

The Iraqi Parliament followed this up with a resolution calling for an end to “the presence of any foreign troops on Iraqi soil”, a resolution targeted particularly at the US military presence.

If he respects Iraqi sovereignty, our foreign minister should set in motion the quick withdrawal of New Zealand soldiers from Iraq. Or will he be supporting Donald Trump, who says that if US troops are forced out he’ll slap sanctions on Iraq, which will “make the Iranian sanctions somewhat tame”?

Add to that Trump’s repeated threat to destroy Iranian cultural sites, which is a clear war crime. How can New Zealand withhold criticism of such madness?

Read full article here

Jun 062019
 

t’s been 16 years since the start of the Iraq War, and New Zealand still has troops in Iraq.

It’s far past time to end New Zealand’s military occupation in Iraq. Deployment is scheduled to end on June 30, but we’re not confident that it will. NZ has extended deployment twice already, and is currently talking about extending it again. Enough is enough.

Send an email to your elected officials to urge NZ to get troops out now!

Simply put, the invasion of Iraq has been catastrophic. Iraq lost 1.4 million lives, 5% of its population. On top of that, the war injured 4.2 million people and created 4.5 million refugees. The U.S. military and its allies have deliberately targeted civilians and civilian infrastructure, including water supplies, hospitals, and power plants. Birth defects, cancer, and infant mortality rates have skyrocketed.

New Zealand has a responsibility to maintain its independent non-aligned status and be a leader for peace. NZ must not prop up U.S. war-making, and that starts by withdrawing troops from Iraq. Click here to send a message to your elected officials to demand an end to NZ’s military role in Iraq!
For a world beyond war,

Greta Zarro
Organizing Director
World BEYOND War
greta@worldbeyondwar.org

Nov 162018
 

The Cost Of Post 9/11 Wars Hit $5.9 Trillion
By Claudia Grisales

November 15, 2018 “Information Clearing House” – WASHINGTON — The price for America’s longest wars has surpassed more than $5.9 trillion and at least 480,000 lost lives, according to a new study released by the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University.

The figures highlight the toll of U.S. war operations around the world since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and the study projects the numbers could rise.

“It’s important for the American people to understand the true costs of war, both the moral and monetary costs,” said Sen. Jack Reed, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, who helped introduce the report Wednesday at a meeting on Capitol Hill. “Our nation continues to finance wars and military operations through borrowing, rather than asking people to contribute to the national defense directly, and the result is a serious fiscal drag that we’re not really accounting for or factoring into deliberations about fiscal policy or military policy.”

The study’s death estimates include nearly 7,000 U.S. service members, nearly 8,000 U.S. contractors, more than 100,0000 military and police members from other countries, more than 244,000 civilians and more than 100,000 opposition fighters.

The $5.9 trillion U.S. cost includes Pentagon spending through fiscal year 2019, such as direct and indirect spending as well as future war-related costs for post-9/11 war veterans. It represents U.S. spending in the war zones of Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and other locations designated as “overseas contingency operations.”

It also includes war-related spending by other agencies, such as the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security, costs of veterans care as well as debt used to pay for the wars.

“Veterans benefits and disability spending, and the cost of interest on borrowing to pay for the wars, will comprise an increasingly large share of the costs,” said Neta Crawford, a political science professor at the institute, who authored the study.

The institute’s “Costs of War” project, with 35 scholars, legal experts, human rights practitioners and physicians, began tracking the costs of the post-9/11 wars in 2011 and continues to release updated reports. The group, which does its work through Brown University, said it uses research and public data to facilitate greater transparency of the actual toll of the wars.

Even if the wars were to end by 2023, the United States is on track to spend an additional $808 billion, bringing the overall tally to at least $6.7 trillion, according to the study. That doesn’t include future interest payments on the spending.

War appropriations for Iraq and Afghanistan are funded by deficit spending and borrowing, and not new taxes or war bonds, the study notes. This adds to interest costs, it concludes.

Those interest payments could shift with the winds of the economy and other factors, with some pundits estimating those fees alone could total trillions.

“The U.S. continues to fund the wars by borrowing, so this is a conservative estimate of the consequences of funding the war as if on a credit card, in which we are only paying interest even as we continue to spend,” Crawford said.

Tracking an overall cost for the post-9/11 wars is challenging because different departments take part in the spending.

In March 2018, the Defense Department estimated it had spent $1.5 trillion in war-related appropriations, but that only includes a portion of all war spending, the study argued.

With no single number for the budgetary costs of the wars, it makes assessing costs, risks and benefits difficult, Crawford said. Because taxpayers tend to focus on direct military spending, it discounts the larger budgetary costs of the wars and underestimates its greater significance, she added.

“In sum, high costs in war and war-related spending pose a national security concern because they are unsustainable,” Crawford said. “The public would be better served by increased transparency and by the development of a comprehensive strategy to end the wars and deal with other urgent national security priorities.”

The study also tallied the number of soldiers and sailors injured in the wars. Since 2001, more than 53,700 U.S. servicemembers have been injured in Iraq and Afghanistan. Of those injuries, 62 percent were hurt in Iraq, while 38 percent were injured in Afghanistan.

Though the fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq has been less intense than in recent years, the toll of civilians killed in Afghanistan in 2018 is on track to be one of the highest death tolls of the war, Crawford said in her study.

Most of these war deaths in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria have been caused by militants, but some of them are at the hands of the United States and its coalition partners, Crawford said.

Yet, the tally remains incomplete, and there are efforts by the United Nations to track and identify perpetrators of those deaths and injuries, she noted. Other organizations, such as the Congressional Research Service and the news media, are also attempting to track these figures.

“Indeed, we may never know the total direct death toll in these wars,” she said.

In addition, this tally does not include “indirect deaths” — people harmed as a result of long-term damage left in the war zones, such as lost access to food and water.

“This update just scratches the surface of the human consequences of 17 years of war,” Crawford said. “There are a number of areas — the number of civilians killed and injured, and the number of U.S. military and veteran suicides, for instance — where greater transparency would lead to greater accountability and could lead to better policy.”

grisales.claudia@stripes.com – Twitter: @cgrisales

BY THE NUMBERS
A Brown University study has found the human and financial costs of the post-9/11 wars continue to rise. These are some statistics highlighted in the report:

The U.S. government is conducting counterterrorism activities in 76 countries
More than 244,000 civilians have been killed as a result of the fighting
More than 480,000 have died due to direct war violence, and several times as many indirectly
The wars have created 10.1 million refugees and displaced persons
The U.S. cost for the post-9/11 wars is more than $5.9 trillion

Aug 222018
 

chelseamanning

An Evening With Chelsea Manning

Think Inc. are excited to announce the first visit to New Zealand by the American activist, politician, former US Army Solider and now court-martialled whistle-blower, Chelsea Manning.

Found guilty of espionage and theft and sentenced to 35 years in prison, Manning’s life has been nothing short of extraordinary. Set to discuss her time in prison, transgender issues, privacy, and Wikileaks, An Evening With Chelsea Manning will offer a glimpse inside the mind of one of the most controversial figures of the 21st Century.

Manning’s role in the leaking of almost 750,000 pieces of classified or non-classified but sensitive military and diplomatic documents was initially set to lead to a life in prison, before her sentence was reduced by President Barack Obama.

As a child, Manning excelled at science and computers and built her own website at the tender age of 10. She witnessed her parents share a tumultuous marriage before her mother attempted suicide. During this time, Manning was also exploring her gender identity.

Encouraged to join the Army by her father while living as an openly gay man, Manning began training in 2007. She was deployed to Iraq in 2009 where she went on to access and share an unprecedented amount of data, leading her to become one of the most significant whistle-blowers of our time. At the time, she described the data as “one of the most significant documents of our time removing the fog of war and revealing the true nature of 21st century asymmetric warfare.”

Manning, then U.S. Army intelligence analyst, was found guilty of espionage and theft and sentenced to 35 years in prison. An advocate for transparency of the American government, Manning had her sentence reduced by President Barack Obama in May 2017. Since her imprisonment, Manning has received numerous awards for her role in the leaks, and has established herself as a poster child for both whistle-blowers and transgender rights.

Named by the Foreign Press as one of 2017’s Global Thinkers “for forcing the United States to question who is a traitor and who is a hero” and blurring the line between United States hero and turncoat, it is with great excitement that we bring Chelsea Manning to New Zealand.

 

More about the speaking tour here

Jul 062016
 

The Truth About Chilcot
By Craig Murray

July 06, 2016 “Information Clearing House” – The death toll from the horrific recent Iraq bombings has risen over 250. If Blair had not been absolutely determined to attack Iraq on the basis of a knowing lie about WMD, they would be alive now, along with millions of other dead. ISIS would never have taken control of territory in Iraq and Syria. Al Qaeda would never have grown from an organisation of a few hundred to one of tens of thousands. We would not have a completely destabilised Middle East and a massive refugee crisis.

Do not expect a full truth and a full accounting from the Chilcot panel of establishment trusties today. Remember who they are.

Sir John Chilcot

Member of the Butler Inquiry which whitewashed the fabrication of evidence of Iraqi WMD. The fact is that, beyond doubt, the FCO and SIS knew there were no Iraqi WMD. In the early 1990’s I had headed the FCO Section of the Embargo Surveillance Centre, tasked with monitoring and preventing Iraqi attempts at weapons procurement. In 2002 I was on a course for newly appointed Ambassadors alongside Bill Patey, who was Head of the FCO Department dealing with Iraq. Bill is a fellow Dundee University graduate and is one of the witnesses before the Iraq Inquiry this morning. I suggested to him that the stories we were spreading about Iraqi WMD could not be true. He laughed and said “Of course not Craig, it’s bollocks”. I had too many other conversations to mention over the next few months, with FCO colleagues who knew the WMD scare to be false.

Yet Chilcot was party to a Butler Inquiry conclusion that the Iraqi WMD scare was an “Honest mistake”. That a man involved on a notorious whitewash is assuring us that this will not be one, is bullshit.

Read article here