Washingtons Blog

Why the Bad Guys Keep Winning

How Come They Keeping Getting Away With It?

Why do the bad guys keep getting away with it … even after getting caught again and again?

Reason Number 1: Falling for the Big Fib

People are wired to believe our leaders’ big statements, even if they are ridiculous:

As Adolph Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf:

All this was inspired by the principle–which is quite true in itself–that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying.

2 U.S. Government Agencies Say FBI’s Anthrax Case Is Full of Holes

 

By Meryl Nass, M.D.  Dr. Nass is  a board-certified internist and a biological warfare epidemiologist and expert in anthrax. Nass publishes Anthrax Vaccine.

Here is the GAO report released today, two years in the making, a study done for unnamed “congressional requesters.” In past years, the requesters have been listed, but in this case, they are not. This most likely reflects the sensitivity of this matter. Why so sensitive?

Because the FBI botched its investigation, never had even the shred of a case against Ivins, and this is not the first time they were called out on it. The 2011 National Academy of Science (NAS) report pointed out the same things as this GAO report: that FBI and its contractors developed methods that were not validated. They never proved that the anthrax in the letters actually grew from parent spores in Ivins’ flask, as FBI purports. This failed claim forms the linchpin of the FBI’s entire case.

Here is the 2011 WaPo editorial on the need for a comprehensive investigation, following release of the NAS report. Today’s GAO investigation did not fulfill the WaPo’s request to include an investigation of the case against Ivins himself.

Following the NAS report, in October 2011, veteran investigative reporters at McClatchey (Greg Gordon, who is amazing), PBS’ Frontline and ProPublica dug deeper into the case than anyone so far had done, and created a TV show, a huge online cache of documents on the case, and several journalistic pieces, like this one.  Their work revealed new pieces of evidence that further undercut the FBI’s case, like this and this. One article explored the validity of the FBI’s scientific evidence.

UPDATE: These reporters write about the new GAO report here.

The NSA’s “Lone Wolf” Justification for Mass Spying Is B.S.

All of the Chairs of the 9/11 Commission and the Congressional Investigation Into 9/11 Say It’s “Implausible” that the 9/11 Hijackers Acted Without Government Backing

The NSA’s main justification for Constitution-shredding mass surveillance on all Americans is 9/11.

In reality:

  • American presidents agree
  • The chairs of the 9/11 Commission say that the spying has gone way too far (and that the Director of National Intelligence should be prosecuted for lying about the spying program)
  • Top officials say that the claim that the government could only have stopped the attacks if it had been able to spy on Americans is wholly false

But we want to focus on another angle:  the unspoken assumption by the NSA that we need mass surveillance because “lone wolf” terrorists don’t leave as many red flags as governments, so the NSA has to spy on everyone to find the needle in the haystack.

But this is nonsense. The 9/11 hijackers were not lone wolves.

Secret Service Failures on 9/11: A Call for Transparency

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Guest Post by Kevin Ryan, former Site Manager for Environmental Health Laboratories, a division of Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Mr. Ryan, a Chemist and laboratory manager, was fired by UL in 2004 for publicly questioning the report being drafted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) on their World Trade Center investigation. In the intervening period, Ryan has completed additional research while his original questions, which have become increasingly important over time, remain unanswered by UL or NIST.

The U.S. Secret Service failed to do its job on September 11, 2001 in several important ways. These failures could be explained if the Secret Service had foreknowledge of the 9/11 events as they were proceeding. That possibility leads to difficult questions about how the behavior of Secret Service employees might have contributed to the success of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Answering those questions will require the release of existing interview transcripts as well as follow-up questioning, under oath, of a few key people within the agency.

The most glaring example of Secret Service failure on 9/11 was the lack of protection for the President of the United States after it was well known that the country was facing terrorist attacks on multiple fronts.The interesting thing about this was that it was not a consistent approach. That is, the president was protected by the Secret Service in many ways that day but he was not protected from the most obvious, and apparently the most imminent, danger.

President Bush had been at risk earlier that morning when Middle-Eastern looking journalists appeared at his hotel in Sarasota, Florida claiming to have an appointment for an interview.A Secret Service agent turned them away in a move that might have saved Bush from an assassination attempt. [1]

Bush then traveled to an elementary school for a community outreach photo opportunity which had been well-publicized for several days. It was reported that “Police and Secret Service Agents were on the roof, on horseback and in every hallway” at the school. [2]Every visitor at the school was required to attend a preparation meeting two days before, and all the phone lines had been tapped.The school’s principal stated – “It was the safest place in the world. If you blew your nose and it wasn’t time for you to blow your nose, they knew it.” [3]

Everything Happening Now Was Planned Before 9/11

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Everything Happening Now Was Planned Before 9/11

We’ve been told that “9/11 changed everything” and that we’re living in “a post-911 world”.

We’ve been told that what our government is doing now has been rendered necessary by the urgent post-9/11 threat from terrorists.

In reality, however, virtually everything happening now was planned before 9/11. Please see for yourself:

  • The Patriot Act was planned before 9/11 (and see this). Indeed, former Counter Terrorism Czar Richard Clarke told Stanford law professor Lawrence Lessig:

After 9/11 the government drew up the Patriot Act within 20 days and it was passed.

The Patriot Act is huge and I remember someone asking a Justice Department official how did they write such a large statute so quickly, and of course the answer was that it has been sitting in the drawers of the Justice Department for the last 20 years waiting for the event where they would pull it out.

(4:30 into this video).

  • The Afghanistan war was planned before 9/11 (see this and this)