Tom Burghardt

Flight 253: Intelligence Agencies Nixed State Department Move to Revoke Bomber’s Visa

Flight 253: Intelligence Agencies Nixed State Department Move to Revoke Bomber’s Visa
by Tom Burghardt / February 8th, 2010

Rightist demagogues, as they are wont to do, prattle-on how they, and they alone, can “keep America safe”–by shredding the Constitution.

Waging a decades-long psychological war against the American people, corporatist thugs embedded within the National Security State assure us that secrecy, deceit and imperial adventures that steal other peoples’ resources are the one true path to national prosperity and universal happiness.

But what happens when those charged with protecting us from attack, actually aid and abet those who would kill us, and then handsomely profit from our slaughter in the process?

During a January 27 hearing of the House Committee on Homeland Security, Under Secretary of State for Management, Patrick F. Kennedy, testified that the visa of accused bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, wasn’t revoked at the specific request of secret state agencies.

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.

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.

Operation Sentinel: The High-Tech Police State Takes Shape

Operation Sentinel: The High-Tech Police State Takes Shape

by Tom Burghardt / August 17th, 2008

Operation Sentinel, a new program unveiled by the New York City Police Department (NYPD) and U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), would encircle Manhattan with thousands of surveillance cameras that photograph every car or truck entering and exiting the city across its network of bridges and tunnels.

Information captured by this intrusive project would be stored in a huge database for an undisclosed period of time. Additionally, a network of sensors installed at toll plazas would allegedly be able to capable detect radiological materials that could be used in potential terror plots, the New York Times reports.

However, the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) has denounced the proposal as “an attack on New Yorkers’ right to privacy.” NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman lambasted this outrageous proposal saying,