simuvac's blog

Peter Dale Scott: 9/11, Deep Events, and the Curtailment of U.S. Freedoms

9/11, Deep Events, and the Curtailment of U.S. Freedoms
A talk delivered to the New England Antiwar Conference, MIT, January 30, 2010.
By Prof Peter Dale Scott
Global Research, January 31, 2010

Hello everyone! I’m honored to be invited to this important anti-war conference. As I am in the final stages of editing my next book, The Road to Afghanistan, I have been turning down invitations to speak. But I was eager to accept this one, and to join my friends and others in debunking the war on terror, the false justification for the Afghan-Pakistan war.

Let me make my own position clear at the outset. There are indeed people out there, including some Muslim extremists, who want to inflict terror on America. But it is crystal clear, as many people inside and outside government have agreed, that it makes this problem worse, not better, when Washington sends large numbers of U.S. troops to yet another country where they don ‘t belong.[1]

U.S. Drops Plan for a 9/11 Trial in New York City

January 30, 2010
U.S. Drops Plan for a 9/11 Trial in New York City
By SCOTT SHANE and BENJAMIN WEISER

The Obama administration on Friday gave up on its plan to try the Sept. 11 plotters in Lower Manhattan, bowing to almost unanimous pressure from New York officials and business leaders to move the terrorism trial elsewhere.

“I think I can acknowledge the obvious,” an administration official said. “We’re considering other options.”

The reversal on whether to try the alleged 9/11 terrorists blocks from the former World Trade Center site seemed to come suddenly this week, after Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg abandoned his strong support for the plan and said the cost and disruption would be too great.

But behind the brave face that many New Yorkers had put on for weeks, resistance had been gathering steam.

After a dinner in New York on Dec. 14, Steven Spinola, president of the Real Estate Board of New York, pulled aside David Axelrod, President Obama’s closest adviser, to convey an urgent plea: move the 9/11 trial out of Manhattan.

Bloomberg Balks at 9/11 Trial, Dealing Blow to White House

January 28, 2010
Bloomberg Balks at 9/11 Trial, Dealing Blow to White House
By MICHAEL BARBARO and AL BAKER

The Obama administration on Wednesday lost its most prominent backer of the plan to try the self-described mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks in Lower Manhattan when Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said the trial should not be held in New York City.

The mayor’s reversal was a political blow to the White House’s efforts to resolve a landmark terror case a few blocks from where Al Qaeda hijackers rammed planes into the World Trade Center, a trial that the president saw as an important demonstration of American justice.

Mr. Bloomberg said that a more secure location, like a military base, would be less disruptive and less costly. His remarks echoed growing opposition from Wall Street executives, the real estate industry and neighborhood groups, who have questioned the burdens that such a trial would bring to a heavily trafficked area of the city.

Tom Burghardt: "Flight 253 Cover-Up: 'No Smoking Gun' Claims Undercut by New Disclosures"

Flight 253 Cover-Up: “No Smoking Gun” Claims Undercut by New Disclosures

by Tom Burghardt / January 25th, 2010

Nearly one month after passengers foiled an attempted suicide bomb attack aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253 as it approached Detroit on Christmas Day, new information reveals that the White House and U.S. security agencies had specific intelligence on accused terrorist, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, far earlier than previously acknowledged.

Along with new reports, evidence suggests that the administration’s cover-up of the affair has very little to do with a failure by the intelligence apparatus to “connect the dots” and may have far more serious political implications for the Obama administration, and what little remains of a functioning democracy in the United States, than a botched bombing.

What the White House and security officials have previously described only as “vague” intercepts regarding “a Nigerian” has now morphed into a clear picture of the suspect–and the plot.

U.S. can't confirm 'bin Laden' tape authentic

U.S. can't confirm 'bin Laden' tape authentic
Speaker claims responsiblity for Dec. 25 bombing attempt
Last Updated: Sunday, January 24, 2010 | 10:00 AM ET
The Associated Press

A new audio message purportedly made by Osama bin Laden has the al-Qaeda leader claiming responsibility for the plot to bomb a Detroit-bound airliner last month on Christmas Day.

The man speaking on the tape, broadcast Sunday, also vows further attacks on the United States.

A White House adviser said he could not confirm whether the voice was actually that of bin Laden. David Axelrod told CNN's State of the Union that whatever the source, the message "contains the same hollow justification for the mass slaughter of innocents."

The message suggests that bin Laden wants to show he remains in direct command of al-Qaeda's many branches around the world.

In the minute-long recording carried by Al-Jazeera, the man the Arabic news channel identifies as bin Laden addresses U.S. President Barack Obama, saying the attack was a message similar to that of Sept. 11 and more attacks against the U.S. would be forthcoming.

Venezuela oil 'may double Saudis'

Venezuela oil 'may double Saudis'

A new US assessment of Venezuela's oil reserves could give the country double the supplies of Saudi Arabia.

Scientists working for the US Geological Survey say Venezuela's Orinoco belt region holds twice as much petroleum as previously thought.

The geologists estimate the area could yield more than 500bn barrels of crude oil.

This assessment is far more optimistic than even the best case scenario put forward by President Hugo Chavez.

The USGS team gave a mean estimate of 513bn barrels of "technically recoverable" oil in the Orinoco belt.

Chris Schenk of the USGS said the estimate was based on oil recovery rates of 40% to 45%.

Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA), Venezuela's state oil company, has not commented on the news.

However, Venezuelan oil geologist and former PDVSA board member Gustavo Coronel was sceptical.

"I doubt the recovery factor could go much higher than 25% and much of that oil would not be economic to produce", he told Associated Press news agency.

Judge Tosses NSA Spy Cases

Judge Tosses NSA Spy Cases
By David Kravets | January 22, 2010 | 2:27 pm

A federal judge is dismissing lawsuits accusing the government of teaming with the nation’s telcos to funnel Americans’ electronic communications to the National Security Agency without warrants.

U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker’s decision was a major blow to the two suits testing warrantless eavesdropping and executive branch powers implemented following the 2001 terror attacks. The San Francisco judge said the courts are not available to the public to mount that challenge.

“A citizen may not gain standing by claiming a right to have the government follow the law,” (.pdf) Walker ruled late Thursday.

Supreme Court's 'Radical and Destructive' Decision Hands Over Democracy to the Corporations

http://www.alternet.org/rights/145322/supreme_court%27s_%27radical_and_destructive%27_decision_hands_over_democracy_to_the...

Supreme Court's 'Radical and Destructive' Decision Hands Over Democracy to the Corporations
By Liliana Segura, AlterNet. Posted January 21, 2010.

"The Supreme Court has just predicted the winners of the next November election," Sen. Chuck Schumer announced this morning. "It won't be Republicans. It won't be Democrats. It will be Corporate America."

Indeed, in a momentous 5 to 4 decision the New York Times called a "doctrinal earthquake," the U.S. Supreme Court handed down an unprecedented ruling today that gives new significance to the phrase "corporate personhood." In it, the Roberts court overturned the federal ban on corporate contributions to political campaigns, ruling that forbidding corporations from spending money to support or undermine political candidates amounts to censorship. Corporations, the court ruled, should enjoy the same First Amendment rights as individuals.

Mahathir: 9/11 was staged

Mahathir: 9/11 was staged
Thu, Jan 21, 2010
The Star/Asia News Network
By Joshua Foong and Shamini Ann

KUALA LUMPUR: There is strong evidence that the Sept 11 attacks on the United States that killed nearly 3,000 could have been 'staged' as an excuse to mount attacks on the Muslim world, said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

'I am not sure now that Muslim terrorists carried out these attacks. There is evidence that the attacks were staged.

'If they can make Avatar, they can make anything,' the former prime minister told a press conference here yesterday after delivering his speech at the General Conference for the Support of Al-Quds to aid the Palestinians.

He said killing innocent people to provide an excuse for war was not new to the US.

'But whether real or staged, the 9/11 attacks have served the United States and Western countries well. They have an excuse to mount attacks on the Muslim world,' he added.

9/11 Truth Movement: Why America Turns to Conspiracy Theories

http://americanhistory.suite101.com/article.cfm/911_truth_movement

9/11 Truth Movement: Why America Turns to Conspiracy Theories
Jan 21, 2010 Marilyn Michaud

Conspiracy theories have a long history in American culture.This article provides a brief historical overview and an explanation for why they are rational and necessary.

The tendency to view events through the lens of deception and conspiracy has been part of American culture since the founding. Suspicion was particularly acute in the writing of the American revolutionaries; whether loyalist sympathizers, suspicious Whigs or radical democrats, Americans often adopted conspiratorial and duplicitous modes of interpretation to explain the threat to republican liberty.

The FBI used faked terrorism emergencies to illegally obtain Americans' phone records: Report

The FBI used faked terrorism emergencies to illegally obtain Americans' phone records: Report
By Brian Kates
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Tuesday, January 19th 2010, 10:44 AM

The FBI faked terrorism emergencies to illegally obtain more than 2,000 U.S. telephone records between 2002
and 2006, the Washington Post reported Tuesday.

FBI general counsel Valerie Caproni told the Washington Post that the FBI technically violated the Electronic Communications Privacy Act when agents invoked nonexistent emergencies to collect records.

A Justice Department inspector general's report due out this month is expected to conclude that the FBI frequently violated the law with its emergency requests, bureau officials confirmed.

The maneuver was based on a system used in the FBI's New York office in the aftermath of Sept. 11 attacks, officials said.

Pakistani neuroscientist: Israel mastermind behind 9/11

http://www.littleabout.com/news/58494,israel-masterminded-911-attacks-dr-aafia.html

New York, Jan.16 : Detained Pakistani neuroscientist, Dr Aafia Siddiqui, who is currently in custody of the US on murder charges, has said that she believes that Israel was the mastermind of the 9/11 terror attacks on America.

Siddqui, whose trial is set to begin next week, while interrupting judge Richard Berman during a quizzing session of potential jurors, said she was not associated with the 9/11 incident.

The next question will be on anti-Semitism, Israel was behind 9/11. That's not anti-Semitic. I have nothing to do with 9/11, she said.

The case against Siddiqui, 37, who has been charged for allegedly shooting at her US interrogators in Afghanistan in July last year, would begin in the Manhattan Federal Court on January 19.

Berman later said that anyone who disrupts proceedings will be removed, but added that Siddiqui has a right to be present for her trial and would be allowed to return, The Nation reports.

Copyright Asian News International (ANI)

FBI issues new Bin Laden photo

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/15/AR2010011501695.html

Bin Laden's photo digitally updated for age, beard

Photobucket

The Associated Press
Friday, January 15, 2010; 11:26 AM

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. State Department has updated its 1998 file photo of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, digitally altering it to account for a decade of age and possible changes in his facial hair.

There is a $25 million bounty on bin Laden's head for the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya. Bin Laden is now 52. And he is believed to be hiding in the lawless Pakistan frontier bordering Afghanistan, though his exact whereabouts have been unknown since late 2001, when he and a small contingent of body guards walked out of the Tora Bora mountains, evading air strikes and U.S. special forces and Afghan militias,

The photos and bounty on bin Laden and 41 others wanted for terrorism is on the State Department's web site rewardsforjustice.net.

Tom Burghardt: "Flight 253: Anatomy of a Cover-Up"

Flight 253: Anatomy of a Cover-Up
by Tom Burghardt / January 11th, 2010

New revelations about the failed Christmas Day attack on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 continue to emerge as does evidence of a systematic cover-up.

With the White House in crisis mode since the attempted bombing, President Obama met for two hours January 5 with top security and intelligence officials. Obama said that secret state agencies “had sufficient information to uncover the terror plot … but that intelligence officials had ‘failed to connect those dots’,” The New York Times reports.

The latest iteration of the “dot theory” floated by the President, aided and abetted by a compliant media, claims “this was not a failure to collect intelligence” but rather, “a failure to integrate and understand the intelligence that we already had.”

“Mr. Obama’s stark assessment that the government failed to properly analyze and integrate intelligence served as a sharp rebuke of the country’s intelligence agencies,” declared the Times uncritically.