Dec 052018
 

https://www.globalresearch.ca/author/michel-chossudovsky

This article was first published on March 31, 2017. An earlier version was published in 2015

Lest we forget, one day before the 9/11 attacks [as well as on the morning of 9/11, the dad of the sitting President of the United States of America, George Herbert Walker Bush was meeting none other than Shafiq bin Laden, the brother of the alleged terror mastermind Osama bin Laden.

It was a routine business meeting on September 10-11, no conflict of interest, no relationship to the 9/11 attacks which allegedly were carried out on the orders of Shafiq’s brother Osama, no FBI investigation into the links between the Bush and bin Laden families.

What is presented below is a factual account. Confirmed by the Washington Post, “fellow investors” of the Carlyle Group including Osama’s brother Shafiq bin Laden and Dubya’s dad former President George H. W. Bush met in the plush surroundings of New York’s Ritz-Carlton Hotel on September 10-11, 2001. Their business encounter under the auspices of the Carlyle Group was unfortunately interrupted on September 11 by the 9/11 attacks.

It didn’t help that as the World Trade Center burned on Sept. 11, 2001, the news interrupted a Carlyle business conference at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel here attended by a brother of Osama bin Laden [Shafiq bin Laden]. Former president Bush [senior], a fellow investor, had been with him at the conference the previous day. (Greg Schneider, Pairing the Powerful With the Rich, Washington Post, March 16, 2003)

screenshot Washington Post, March 16, 2003

A timely business meeting on September 10-11 at the Ritz Carlton with Osama’s brother disrupted by the 9/11 attacks: pure coincidence, totally unrelated to the 9/11 attacks.

What was GWB’s Dad “Poppy” doing with Osama’s brother Shafiq on September 10?

Media coverup: the WP report came out 18 months later in March 2003. There was no media coverage of the Shafiq bin Laden – G. Herbert W. Bush meeting in September 2001. The event was known, yet mainstream media editors decided not to provide coverage of this timely 9/11 encounter at the Ritz Carleton.

A day later, on the evening of September 11, 2001, president George W. Bush pronounced a historic speech in which he defined the relationship between “terrorists’ and “state sponsors of terrorism”:

The search is underway for those who are behind these evil acts. I’ve directed the full resources of our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and to bring them to justice. We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them. (emphasis added)

Let’s be clear as to what happened: the dad of the sitting president of the US was “harboring” (to use GWB’s expression) the brother of the alleged terror mastermind of the 9/11 attacks.

Read more here

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

Nov 142018
 

Julian Borger in Washington

Wed 14 Nov 2018 00.37 GMT

CIA doctors considered using a “truth serum” on suspected terrorists in detention after waterboarding appeared to be ineffective and traumatic for US personnel who witnessed it, according to newly declassified documents.

The proposal to use the drug in a programme codenamed “Project Medication” was revealed in a 90-page report by a senior CIA medical officer, which was released on a judge’s order to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), after a prolonged legal battle. The ACLU published the report by the unnamed officer on Tuesday.

The idea of using drugs on US captives in the “war on terror” was recommended as “probably worth a try” by the CIA’s office of medical services but dropped after the agency’s counter-terrorism centre decided not to ask the Department of Justice in George W Bush’s administration for a legal ruling. The department had previously provided legal memos justifying the use of torture like waterboarding and confinement in small boxes.
The CIA report, which reviews the medical office’s participation in detainee operations from 2002 to 2007, shows that the agency’s medical staff played a key role in interrogations in the days after the 9/11 attacks.

They took part in over 120 rendition flights, taking prisoners to secret CIA detention centres. They helped keep inmates alive and provided the appearance of medical rectitude. The CIA report notes that its doctors were “indispensable” to the effort of “legitimising the programme”.

In the case of Khaled Sheikh Mohammed, the al-Qaida mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks who was waterboarded 140 times, the CIA medical officer said that the torture, which simulates the experience of drowning, “provided periodic relief from his standing sleep deprivation”.

Read article here

Sep 162018
 

american trajectory divine or demonic?“David Ray Griffin has done it again. His new book should be read as a prequel to the seminal Bush and Cheney: How They Ruined America and the World. Supported by extensive research, Griffin thoroughly debunks the myth of an American Empire as a benign, exceptionalist, divinely ordained historical agent. Instead of Manifest Destiny, what reality- based Griffin charters is the ‘malign’ ways of US foreign policy since the 19th century; a trajectory founded by slavery and genocide of indigenous peoples and then imperially expanded, non-stop. ‘Malign’ happens to be a term currently very much in vogue across the Beltway—but always to designate US competitors Russia and China. Griffin consistently challenges Beltway gospel, demonstrating that if the US had not entered WWI, there may have been no WWII. He unmasks the lies surrounding the true story of the Pearl Harbor attacks. He asks: If the US was really guided by God, how could it ‘choose’ to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki, knowing that ‘the atomic bombs were not necessary to end the war?’ Griffin also shows how the Cold War was actually conceptualized several years before the 1950 National Security Council paper 68 (NSC- 68). He revisits the origins of irrational hatred of Iran; the demonization of Cuba; the lies surrounding the Vietnam debacle; the false flags across Europe via Operation Gladio; the destruction of Yugoslavia; the decades-long evisceration of Iraq; and the ramifications of the Full Spectrum Dominance doctrine. This sharp, concise history of the American Empire ultimately demonstrates, in Griffin’s analysis, the ‘fraud’ of endorsing self- praising American Exceptionalism. A must read.” —Pepe Escobar, Asia Times/Hong Kong

Order book here

Sep 162018
 

corbettreport
Published on Sep 11, 2018
TRANSCRIPT AND MP3: https://www.corbettreport.com/911warg…

Little did we know at the time, 9/11 was not a normal day of blue sky aviation. On the contrary, it was one of the busiest days in the history of American aviation, a dense forest of live fly exercises, drills, simulations, fake radar injects and utter confusion. And that was before the attacks even began. This is the story of 9/11 that you didn’t watch unfold on your TV that fateful day in 2001. This is the story of the 9/11 War Games.

Sep 022018
 

The New Bobby McIlvaine Ad Campaign: Make It Go Viral this September 11th!

Today, as we approach the 17th anniversary of 9/11, we are honored to release our new Bobby McIlvaine campaign ad.

Based on our seven-minute video, 9/11 Father Seeks Justicewhich now has nearly two million views on Facebook, this brand new 37-second spot will be our primary vehicle for raising awareness of the Bobby McIlvaine Act during the upcoming 9/11 anniversary — when everyone is thinking about 9/11.

More about the campaign here

Sep 022018
 

New book by David Ray Griffin and Elizabeth Woodworth due to be released on September 11, 2018.  9:11 Unmasked

 

A panel of experts highlight the problems with all major claims of the official account of the 9/11 attacks.

Many Americans have been embarrassed by the Trump presidency. But Americans should also be embarrassed by the fact that this country’s foreign policy since 2001, which has resulted in millions of deaths, has been based on a complex deception.
9/11 Unmasked is the result of a six-year investigation by an international review panel, which has provided 51 points illustrating the problematic status of all the major claims in the official account of the 9/11 attacks, some of which are obviously false. Most dramatically, the official account of the destruction of the Twin Towers and World Trade Center 7 could not possibly be true, unless the laws of physics were suspended that day. But other claims made by the official account including the claims that the 9/11 planes were taken over by al-Qaeda hijackers, that one of those hijackers flew his plane into the Pentagon, and that passengers on the planes telephoned people on the ground are also demonstrably false.
The book reports only points about which the panel reached consensus by using the best-evidence consensus model employed in medical research. The panel is composed of experts about 9/11 from many disciplines, including physics, chemistry, structural engineering, aeronautical engineering, and jurisprudence.

Order here

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

Aug 162018
 

OffGuardian
(August 15, 2018)

Just a week or so after Spotify, Google, Apple and Facebook made the curiously synchronized move to kick Alex Jones and InfoWars off their platforms, and just days after Facebook shut down Venezuelan news network TeleSur’s facebook page (for the second time), the war on the free internet has opened up another front.

Small independent blogs are being shut down, seemingly without reason and certainly without explanation.

AmericanEveryman.com has been closed without notice or warning, according to the blog’s owner Scott Creighton. Allegedly for violating WordPress’ “terms of service”, although they have apparently been entirely vague about how.

More here

Apr 272018
 

By Elias Davidsson and Craig McKee
Global Research, April 24, 2018
https://www.globalresearch.ca/ten-irrefutable-devastating-911-facts/5637525

Scholars who attempt to elucidate the crime perpetrated on 9/11 – who are commonly referred to as 9/11 truthers – are often criticized for relying on conjecture and speculation in support of their claims. Such criticism may at times be justified, though often made in bad faith. There is actually no need to resort to speculative arguments that the official account of 9/11 is a fraud since there are hard facts that support this conclusion. Here are 10 such undisputed facts:

1. U.S. authorities have failed to trace, arrest, try (prosecute), and punish anyone responsible for the crime against humanity committed on 9/11.

The mass murder committed on September 11, 2001 represents, under international law, a crime against humanity. The State where it was committed – in this case the United States of America – bears the obligation to the international community to trace, arrest, try, and punish individuals responsible for that crime.

Since 2002, U.S. authorities admit they have detained a handful of persons at Guantánamo Bay who are accused of helping to orchestrate 9/11. Their identities remain in doubt; their alleged confessions were made behind closed doors; and their trial by a military court does not fulfill minimal international norms of due process.

U.S. authorities claim to have sentenced Zacarias Moussaoui to life imprisonment for not having warned the FBI about the preparations for 9/11, an allegation he denied. No evidence was presented that he was involved in the preparations for 9/11 or knew anything about these preparations. No evidence was presented that he even knew the alleged hijackers. U.S. authorities also claim to hold, since 2003, a man by the name of Khalid Sheikh Mohamed (KSM) in Guantánamo who allegedly confessed to have masterminded 9/11 and more than 30 other terrorist operations. He also allegedly confessed to having planned an attack on a bank in Washington State that did not exist until after he was already in Guantánamo. The man, whose identity remains murky and whose connection to 9/11 is limited to what he said in his ludicrous confession, has not been prosecuted, let alone sentenced. No one seriously expects him to be ever brought to trial, let alone a trial fulfilling international norms.

2. When announcing to the United Nations their decision to attack Afghanistan, U.S. authorities failed to provide evidence that the crime of 9/11 was in any way connected to Afghanistan. In fact, such evidence has still not been produced.

See the letter from U.S. Representative John Negroponte to the President of the UN Security Council, October 7, 2001 (mirrored here).

3. The United States government did not authorize an investigation of the events of 9/11 that could have fulfilled minimal international standards: The 9/11 Commission was neither independent nor impartial, and its investigation was neither thorough nor transparent.

Regarding minimal standards of investigation, see Elias Davidsson, “The Events of 11 September 2001 and the Right to the Truth.” (See this or this)

4. Despite vilifying Osama bin Laden as a terrorist leader, judicial authorities in the United States have failed to charge him in connection with 9/11. He was not even wanted in connection with this crime.

The FBI admitted in June 2006 that it possesses no concrete evidence linking Osama bin Laden to 9/11. (See: Ed Haas, “FBI says, it has no ‘hard evidence connecting Bin Laden to 9/11,” Information Clearing House, June 18, 2006, mirrored here)

5. Authorities in the United States have failed to produce clear and convincing evidence that the 19 persons named by the FBI as 9/11 hijackers even boarded aircraft that they are alleged to have subsequently hijacked.

To be precise: U.S. authorities have failed to produce authenticated passenger lists that would include the names of the alleged hijackers; witnesses who saw these alleged hijackers in the airports or boarding the aircraft; authenticated security-camera videos proving their presence in the airports of departure; and DNA identification of these individuals’ bodily remains (see detailed analysis in Elias Davidsson, Hijacking America’s Mind on 9/11 [Algora Publishers, New York, 2013], Chapter 2).

6. U.S. authorities have failed to produce clear and convincing evidence that passenger airliners crashed at the known landmarks on 9/11.

The FBI admitted in a letter to the Nevada District U.S. Court on March 14, 2008, signed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick A. Rose, that records detailing the collection and positive identification of the wreckage of the crashed aircraft do not exist (Letter mirrored here). He thus admitted that the FBI failed to formally identify the wreckage found at the various crash sites as belonging to the allegedly hijacked aircraft. It is, therefore, not established that the allegedly hijacked aircraft crashed at these locations.

7. U.S. authorities have failed to explain why more than 1,100 persons, who were present at the World Trade Center on 9/11, vanished into thin air.

Vast parts of the Twin Towers were literally pulverized as can be seen from video recordings, photos, and testimonies. Of more than 1,100 missing persons, not a single tooth, nail, or bone has been found as of 2011 (See, inter alia, Anemona Hartocollis, “Connecting with lost loved ones, if only by the tips of fingers,” The New York Times, September 11, 2011 [mirrored here]). U.S. authorities have never explained what could have caused more than 1,100 persons to vanish without leaving a trace. They bear the obligation, under human rights law, to determine the reason for such disappearances.

8. U.S. authorities compensated families of 9/11 victims that agreed to waive their right to further court action. The compensation exceeded by at least seven times what was paid to the families of firefighters who died in rescue operations on 9/11.

The families of 9/11 victims received from the U.S. Compensation Fund, established in October 2001, an average of $2.1 million if they agreed to waive their right to engage in civil proceedings (see, inter alia, Brian Bernbaum, “9/11 Fund Chief Faults Payments,” CBS News, 4.9.2003 [mirrored here]). As of 2013, spouses of firefighters who die in line of duty can obtain $333,605 under the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits (PSOB) Act (42 U.S.C. 3796). The figure for 2001 was undoubtedly lower. The 95 families, who did not apply to the Compensation Fund and preferred to let courts determine their rights, obtained an average of $5.5 million in out-of-court settlements (see, Ashby Jones, “The 9/11 Victim Settlements: A Chat with Skadden’s Sheila Birnbaum,” The Wall Street Journal, 13.3.2009 [mirrored here]).

9. U.S. authorities have failed to explain the effect of numerous military drills conducted on the morning of 9/11 – including the simulation of aircraft hijackings – on the commission of the mass murder.

Military drills caused confusion and surprised military and civilian personnel responsible for air traffic, as reported in U.S. media. For example, NORAD Major General Larry Arnold said that, “By the end of the day, we had twenty-one aircraft identified as possible hijackings.” (See, Eric Hehs, “Conversation with Major General Larry Arnold,” One Magazine, January 2002 [mirrored here]). Colonel Robert Marr, NEADS battle commander, said he had been told that across the nation there were “29 different reports of hijackings.” (See, Robert A. Baker, “Commander of 9/11 Air Defenses Retires,” Newhouse News Service, March 31, 2005 [mirrored here]). U.S. authorities failed to explain how these drills affected the commission of the crime, including the apparent failure to intercept hijacked aircraft.

10. U.S. authorities promoted numerous officials who, according to the official account on 9/11, had failed to carry out their duties with regard to 9/11. Not a single person has been held accountable anywhere in government for what went wrong on or prior to 9/11.

Here are few examples: Richard Myers, in charge of the Pentagon on 9/11, was promoted to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on October 1, 2001; Ralph Eberhart, in charge of NORAD on 9/11, was promoted to head the new “Northern Command” a year after 9/11; Captain Charles J. Leidig, acting NMCC Director on 9/11, was promoted in 2004 to the rank of admiral; Brigadier General Montague Winfield, who on 9/11 was in charge of the National Military Command Center (NMCC), was promoted in May 2003 to the two-star rank of major general; Marion (Spike) Bowman, who blocked FBI investigations into the alleged hijackers before 9/11, was given an award for “exceptional performance” after a 9/11 Congressional Inquiry report claimed that his unit gave Minneapolis FBI agents “inexcusably confused and inaccurate information” that was “patently false.”

Conclusion

The above facts are sufficient to reject the official account of 9/11 and consider the administration of President George W. Bush as the main suspect for this crime against humanity. While the facts are not sufficient for leveling criminal charges against specific individuals, they permit general conclusions to be drawn regarding the dangerous nature of the U.S. regime and the complicity of the political class, mainstream media, academia, and the justice system of NATO member states in covering-up the crime of 9/11 and shielding those responsible for that crime.

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This article was originally published on Truth and Shadows.