Prompted by Peggy Noonan’s claim in The Wall Street Journal that “we are in the midst of the worst Washington scandal since Watergate,” Andrew Sullivan steps forward to defend Pres. Obama’s honor. “Can she actually believe this?,” he asks incredulously. “Has this president broken the law, lied under oath, or authorized war crimes? Has he traded arms for hostages with Iran? Has he knowingly sent his cabinet out to tell lies about his sex life? Has he sat by idly as an American city was destroyed by a hurricane? Has he started a war with no planning for an occupation? Has he started a war based on a lie, and destroyed the US’ credibility and moral standing while he was at it, leaving nothing but a smoldering and now rekindled civil sectarian war?”
An Obama critic, having overplayed her hand, gave Sullivan an opening to respond with what amounts to, “It isn’t as bad as Watergate, nor as bad as George W. Bush.” Let’s concede those points. I don’t much care what Obama’s Republican critics say about him. The scandals they’re presently touting, bad as two of them are, aren’t even the worst of Team Obama’s transgressions.
I have a stronger critique. Sullivan hasn’t internalized the worst of what Obama’s done, because his notion of scandal is implicitly constrained by whatever a president’s partisan opponents tout as scandalous. If they criticize Obama wrongly, he defends Obama proportionately.
To see what he’s forgotten as a result, let’s run once more through the first questions in Sullivan’s latest Obama apologia.
Has this president broken the law, lied under oath, or authorized war crimes?
Yes, President Obama has broken the law on multiple occasions. Despite clearly stating, in a 2008 questionnaire, that the commander-in-chief is not lawfully empowered to ignore treaties duly ratified by the Senate, Obama has willfully failed to enforce the torture treaty, signed by Ronald Reagan and duly ratified by the Senate, that compels him to investigate and prosecute torture. As Sullivan put it earlier this year, “what Obama and Holder have done (or rather not done) is illegal.”
Obama also violated the War Powers Resolution, a law he has specifically proclaimed to be Constitutionally valid, when committing U.S. troops to Libya without Congressional approval. Or as Sullivan put it in 2011, “I’m with Conor. The war in Libya becomes illegal from now on. And the imperial presidency grows even more powerful.”
On the subject of war crimes, Sullivan wrote that “Obama and attorney-general Eric Holder have decided to remain in breach of the Geneva Conventions and be complicit themselves in covering up the war crimes of their predecessors – which means, of course, that those of us who fought for Obama’s election precisely because we wanted a return to the rule of law were conned.” In a separate entry, he went so far as to say that Obama is “a clear and knowing accessory to war crimes, and should at some point face prosecution as well, if the Geneva Conventions mean anything any more.” That seems rather farther than Noonan went in her column.
Obama has not, as Sullivan points out, traded arms for hostages with Iran, or started a war with no planning for the inevitable occupation that would follow. But there are different questions that could be asked about Obama that would perhaps be more relevant to his behavior.
Has he ordered the assassination of any American citizens in secret without due process? Did he kill any of their teenage kids without ever explaining how or why that happened?
Has he refused to reveal even the legal reasoning he used to conclude his targeted killing program is lawful?
Has he waged an unprecedented war on whistleblowers?
Has he spied on millions of innocent Americans without a warrant or probable cause?
Does he automatically count dead military-aged males killed by U.S. drones as “militants”?
Did he “sign a bill that enshrines in law the previously merely alleged executive power of indefinite detention without trial of terror suspects”?
There is more, as Sullivan knows, and it all amounts to a scandalous presidency, even if it happens that few Republicans care about the most scandalous behavior, and have instead spent almost a year* now obsessing about Benghazi. The IRS scandal and Department of Justice leak-investigation excesses are worrisome, but the biggest scandals definitely go all the way to the top, and are still largely ignored even by commentators who have acknowledged that they’re happening. Sullivan has noted the stories as they broke, and seemed, for fleeting moments, to confront their gravity, noting the violation of very serious laws, and even once stating that Obama deserves to be prosecuted! Yet in response to Noonan, he writes, “So far as I can tell, this president has done nothing illegal, unethical or even wrong.” How inexplicably they forget.
And Sullivan is hardly alone. At the New York Times, Mother Jones, The New Yorker, and beyond, exceptional journalists take great care to document alarming abuses against the rule of law, the separation of powers, transparency, and human rights perpetrated by the Obama Administration. On a given subject, the coverage leaves me awed and proud to be part of the same profession. But when it comes time for synthesis, bad heuristics take over. Confronted with the opportunism and absurdity of the GOP, Obama’s sins are forgiven, as if he should be graded on a curve. His sins are forgotten, as if “this president has done nothing illegal, unethical or even wrong.”
Yes. He. Has.
Nearly 12 years after the event, the official account of 9/11 continues to be actively studied by academics around the world. The idea of 9/11 as a false-flag operation to build support for an aggressive foreign policy in the Middle East is steadily gaining ground, suggesting that a policy change is overdue.
This essay provides a brief overview of recent academic evidence, high-level conferences, and media documentaries that raise fresh questions regarding the official account of 9/11. It then describes the 9/11 Consensus Panel as an up-to-date source of evidence-based research for any investigation that may be undertaken to settle 9/11′s unanswered questions.
Finally, this essay argues that mortality from all terror events combined lags far behind annual mortality from preventable common causes such as obesity, smoking, and impaired driving. More importantly, all these causes together will be dwarfed by the mortality from predicted “business as usual” global warming events — which cry out for a unified emergency response.
Today is the second anniversary of the day the United States announced the destruction and disposal of Osama bin Laden during a special military operation.
In spite of this announcement, worldwide skepticism and research continue to dog the official account of 9/11.
Had the United States Government called an immediate investigation (it did not form the 9/11 Commission until late 2002) and provided consistent and transparent proof of its claims against Osama bin Laden and the 19 alleged hijackers, things might have been different.
In the wake of the officially failed evidence, NGO’s continue to dig into the disturbing and unanswered questions that haunt this world-changing event. Year by year, these research bodies have been delving ever more deeply into new photographic, FOIA, and witness evidence.
Recent high-level conferences in Kuala Lumpur, Bremen, Germany, and Toronto, Canada, have raised public awareness of the urgent need to revisit the watershed event behind the global war on terror.
An issue of the international magazine Nexus, which sold on news-stands across France in March and April this year, devoted 12 pages to the work of the 9/11 Consensus Panel (www.consensus911.org) and its 28 peer-reviewed Consensus Points of evidence against elements of the official story.
In late 2012, PBS aired one of its most-watched documentaries, “Experts Speak Out,” in which 40 architects and engineers demonstrate that the structural collapses of the Twin Towers and WTC 7 could only have been caused by controlled demolition.
Indeed many serious investigations have been undertaken by the major media, including Canada’s flagship CBC program, The Fifth Estate. These explorations were summarized in my 2010 essay reporting that “eight countries – Britain, Canada, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway and Russia – have allowed their publicly-owned broadcasting stations to air the full spectrum of evidence challenging the truth of the official account of 9/11.
In February, 2010, the American Behavioral Scientist published six articles introducing the concept of “State Crimes Against Democracy” (SCADS), including “Beyond Conspiracy Theory: Patterns of High Crimes in American Government.”
Why has all this effort to establish the truth about 9/11 persisted for nearly 12 years?
1. First, because many high officials have cast doubt on the official story. To name just one, a dismayed General Wesley Clark reported in a 2007 interview with Amy Goodman that on September 20, 2001, and again later in November, his former Pentagon staff told him that the US was going to “take out” seven Middle East countries in the next five years, beginning with Iraq; then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia, and Sudan.
2. In carrying out these operations, the “global war on terror” spawned by 9/11 has maintained an unprecedented degree of fear and divisiveness in the world;
3. This war has been justified by a pervasive, shadowy enemy that can only be countered by flawless surveillance, suspension of civil rights, and unlimited military spending;
4. This “forever war” has redefined world relationships (Muslim and Christian) and given the West a new kind of entitlement to occupy lands that might foster terror against it;
5. It has virtually bankrupted the West through trillions spent in Afghanistan and Iraq that are roughly equivalent to the bank bailouts;
6. September 11th and its offspring terror war have wrecked our confidence in the first principles of democracy. Ever-reminded that terror lurks all around, we must cower and surrender freedoms to contain it.
7. Worst of all, preoccupation with terror has taken our attention off the vital need to address global warming and planetary survival. War-on-terror hawks have done quite the opposite, having manufactured public consent to occupy the very lands that house the cheap oil that is cooking the planet as it approaches 400 ppm of atmospheric CO2.
How do we get back to first principles and return to global, survival-oriented priorities?
The central question is: “Do we choose to act from what we want our world to be, or from what we fear it might become?”
Do we design a harmonious world fit for all humanity, or do we stifle our vision and hopes for peace behind fear, prisons, martial law, and infinite military spending?
All great periods of history – the golden ages of optimism, learning, culture and prosperity — have been inspired by the creative, expansive human imagination. This imagination is inspired by the belief that a civilized world is possible because we can make it so. It is inspired by a vision of human beings as a world family whose spirits embrace justice, order, and decency.
As President John F. Kennedy said in his famous speech of 1963:
“If we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. In the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s futures. And we are all mortal.”
Because of 9/11, however, our new century has been dominated by an obsessive fear of Muslim peoples. This fear, fueled daily by the Western media, has persuaded America to compromise its fundamental democratic rights and principles in favor of a “security” that has not yet become evident.
Thus it is crucial to know whether 9/11 transpired as we have been told — and for this we need the means to identify the best evidence possible.
H. Schreuder & J. O’Sullivan
A recent NASA report throws the space agency into conflict with its climatologists after new NASA measurements prove that carbon dioxide acts as a coolant in Earth’s atmosphere.
NASA’s Langley Research Center has collated data proving that “greenhouse gases” actually block up to 95 percent of harmful solar rays from reaching our planet, thus reducing the heating impact of the sun. The data was collected by Sounding of the Atmosphere using Broadband Emission Radiometry, (or SABER). SABER monitors infrared emissions from Earth’s upper atmosphere, in particular from carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitric oxide (NO), two substances thought to be playing a key role in the energy balance of air above our planet’s surface.
NASA’s Langley Research Center instruments show that the thermosphere not only received a whopping 26 billion kilowatt hours of energy from the sun during a recent burst of solar activity, but that in the upper atmospheric carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide molecules sent as much as 95% of that radiation straight back out into space.
The shock revelation starkly contradicts the core proposition of the so-called greenhouse gas theory which claims that more CO2 means more warming for our planet. However, this compelling new NASA data disproves that notion and is a huge embarrassment for NASA’s chief climatologist, Dr James Hansen and his team over at NASA’s GISS.
Already, the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been in full retreat after having to concede a 17-year stall in global warming despite levels of atmopheric CO2 rising almost 40 percent in recent decades. The new SABER data now forms part of a real world double whammy against climatologists’ computer models that have always been programmed to show CO2 as a warming gas.
The SABER evidence also makes a mockery of the statement on the NASA GISS website (by Hansen underling Gavin Schmidt) claiming, “the greenhouse effect keeps the planet much warmer than it would be otherwise.” 
As NASA’s SABER team at Langley admits:
“This is a new frontier in the sun-Earth connection,” says associate principal investigator Martin Mlynczak, “and the data we’re collecting are unprecedented.”
Over at Principia Scientific International (PSI) greenhouse gas effect (GHE) critic, Alan Siddons is hailing the findings. Siddons and his colleagues have been winning support from hundreds of independent scientists for their GHE studies carried out over the last seven years. PSI has proved that the numbers fed into computer models by Hansen and others were based on a faulty interpretation of the laws of thermodynamics. PSI also recently uncovered long overlooked evidence from the American Meteorological Society (AMS) that shows it was widely known the GHE was discredited prior to 1951. 
Pointedly, a much-trumpeted new book released this month by Rupert Darwall claims to help expose the back story of how the junk GHE theory was conveniently resuscitated in the 1980’s by James Hansen and others to serve an environmental policy agenda at that time. 
As the SABER research report states:
A recent flurry of eruptions on the sun did more than spark pretty auroras around the poles. NASA-funded researchers say the solar storms of March 8th through 10th dumped enough energy in Earth’s upper atmosphere to power every residence in New York City for two years.
“This was the biggest dose of heat we’ve received from a solar storm since 2005,” says Martin Mlynczak of NASA Langley Research Center. “It was a big event, and shows how solar activity can directly affect our planet.”
As PSI’s own space scientists have confirmed, as solar energy penetrates deeper into our atmosphere, even more of its energy will end up being sent straight back out to space, thus preventing it heating up the surface of our earth. The NASA Langley Research Center report agrees with PSI by admitting:
“Carbon dioxide and nitric oxide are natural thermostats,” explains James Russell of Hampton University, SABER’s principal investigator. “When the upper atmosphere (or ‘thermosphere’) heats up, these molecules try as hard as they can to shed that heat back into space.”
To those independent scientists and engineers at Principia Scientific International this is not news. The “natural thermostat” effect of CO2 has long been known by applied scientists and engineers how have exploited it’s remarkable properties in the manufacturer of refrigerators and air conditioning systems. The fledgling independent science body has repeatedly shown in it’s openly peer reviewed papers that atmospheric carbon dioxide does not cause global warming nor climate change.
Some diehard climate alarmists will still say that in the lower atmosphere the action of carbon dioxide is reversed, but there is no actual proof of this at all. PSI suggests it is time for the SABER team to have a word with James Hansen. Watch the full NASA video on Youtube.
 Schmidt, G., ‘Taking the Measure of the Greenhouse Effect,’ (October, 2010), http://www.giss.nasa.gov (accessed online: March 26, 2013).
 Brooks, C.E.P. (1951). “Geological and Historical Aspects of Climatic Change.” In Compendium of Meteorology, edited by Thomas F. Malone, pp. 1004-18 (at 1016). Boston: American Meteorological Association. It shows the American Meteorological Society had refuted the concept of a GHE in 1951 in its Compendium of Meteorology. The AMS stated that the idea that CO2 could alter the climate “was never widely accepted and was abandoned when it was found that all the long-wave radiation [that would be] absorbed by CO2 is [already] absorbed by water vapor.”
 Darwall, R., ‘The Age of Global Warming: A History,‘ (March, 2013), Quartet Books, London.
April 16, 2013 (LD) – In late September 2011, AFP reported that a man was charged with “planning to fly explosive-packed, remote controlled airplanes into the Pentagon and the Capitol in Washington.” In its report, “US man charged with Pentagon bomb plot,” AFP stated (emphasis added):
During the alleged plot, undercover FBI agents posed as accomplices who supplied Ferdaus with one remote-controlled plane, C4 explosives, and small arms that he allegedly envisioned using in a simultaneous ground assault in Washington.
However, ”the public was never in danger from the explosive devices, which were controlled by undercover FBI employees,” the FBI said.
Ferdaus was arrested in Framingham, near Boston, immediately after putting the newly delivered weapons into a storage container, the FBI said.
Authorities described Ferdaus as a physics graduate from Northeastern University who followed al-Qaeda and was committed to ”violent jihad” since early last year.
In November 2010, a similar “plot” was engineered, then “disrupted,” also by the FBI – this time in Portland, Oregon. The so-called “Christmas Tree Bomber” attempted to remote detonate a van he believed was filled with explosives, provided by the FBI, before being arrested during a Christmas tree lighting ceremony at Pioneer Courthhouse Square. The FBI’s official statement regarding the incident revealed that FBI agents had handled, even detonated live explosives with the entrapped suspect at Lincoln County Park in the lead up to the final failed bombing.
The FBI’s official statement titled, “Oregon Resident Arrested in Plot to Bomb Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in Portland,” released by the U.S. Attorney’s Office on November 26, 2010 stated (emphasis added):
According to the affidavit, on November 4, 2010, Mohamud and the undercover FBI operatives traveled to a remote location in Lincoln County, Ore., where they detonated a bomb concealed in a backpack as a trial run for the upcoming attack. Afterwards, on the drive back to Corvallis, undercover FBI operatives questioned Mohamud as to whether he was capable of looking at the bodies of those who would be killed in the upcoming attack in Portland. According to the affidavit, Mohamud responded, “I want whoever is attending that event to leave, to leave either dead or injured.”
Upon returning to Corvallis that same day, the affidavit alleges that Mohamud recorded a video of himself with the undercover FBI operatives in which he read a written statement that offered a rationale for his bomb attack. On Nov. 18, 2010, undercover FBI operatives picked up Mohamud to travel to Portland in order to finalize the details of the attack.
Earlier this evening, Mohamud was arrested after he attempted to remotely detonate what he believed to be explosives in a van that was parked near the Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland, the affidavit alleges.
Yet another similar operation was carried out by the FBI in February 2012, where yet another otherwise incapable patsy was provided with live explosives in the lead up to what was ultimately a failed suicide bombing at the US Capitol. USA Today reported in their article, “FBI foils alleged suicide bomb attack on U.S. Capitol,” that (emphasis added):
According to a counterterrorism official, El Khalifi “expressed interest in killing at least 30 people and considered targeting a building in Alexandria and a restaurant, synagogue and a place where military personnel gather in Washington before he settled on the Capitol after canvassing that area a couple of times,” the Associated Press writes. During the year-long investigation, El Khalifi detonated explosives at a quarry in the capital region with undercover operatives. He is not believed to be affiliated with al-Qaeda, officials said.
The frightening trend of the FBI cultivating otherwise incapable “terror” suspects, providing them with and detonating real explosives, before giving them inert or controlled devices to carry out attacks on public targets where mass casualties are averted only at the last possible moment, sets the stage for at the very least, incredible potential for catastrophic blunders, and at worst, false flag attacks.
Has the FBI ever presided over “sting operations” that were actually carried out? The answer is yes. The FBI in fact was presiding over the terrorists who carried out the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. The role of the FBI leading up to the deadly attack would most likely have gone unreported had an FBI informant not taped his conversations with FBI agents after growing suspicious during the uncover operation. The New York Times in their article, “Tapes Depict Proposal to Thwart Bomb Used in Trade Center Blast,” reported:
Law-enforcement officials were told that terrorists were building a bomb that was eventually used to blow up the World Trade Center, and they planned to thwart the plotters by secretly substituting harmless powder for the explosives, an informer said after the blast.
The informer was to have helped the plotters build the bomb and supply the fake powder, but the plan was called off by an F.B.I. supervisor who had other ideas about how the informer, Emad A. Salem, should be used, the informer said.
The account, which is given in the transcript of hundreds of hours of tape recordings Mr. Salem secretly made of his talks with law-enforcement agents, portrays the authorities as in a far better position than previously known to foil the Feb. 26 bombing of New York City’s tallest towers. The explosion left six people dead, more than 1,000 injured and damages in excess of half a billion dollars.
What takes shape is an FBI at the center of perpetuating America’s terror menace, not at the forefront of fighting it. With every attack foiled or carried out involving FBI uncover operatives revealed only after successful “stings” or in the case of the World Trade Center bombings, an inconvenient witness stepping forward and revealing the FBI’s role, the first and foremost suspect considered after any bombing on US soil should be the FBI itself.
Recent explosions at the Boston Marathon have left two dead and many more injured. While the public waits to find out who will be blamed, and the role, if any the FBI played in the lead up to the explosions, it would be best to keep in mind the insidious and/or incompetent role the FBI has played during similar events, some of which have occurred recently and in close proximity to the latest explosions.
Already some across the Western media are attempting to draw parallels to the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York and Washington – despite the fact that the US is now deliberately funding and arming Al Qaeda in Syria, as well as openly supporting previously listed terrorist organization, Mujahedeen e-Khalq (MEK), in Iran. Vigilance must be kept against Western governments eager to both exploit and perpetuate terrorism and tragedy as well as manufacture it when necessary.
Washington needs enemies. When none exist, they’re invented.
Pyongyang threatens no one. Obama claims no one wants war on the Korean peninsula. He urges Pyongyang “to pursue peace.”
On the other, he’s heightening tensions. He accused its leaders of “bad behavior,” “threats,” and “provocations.” He’s creating crisis conditions that didn’t exist. He’s spoiling for trouble doing so.
On Friday, John Kerry warned Kim Jong Un. Test-launching its Musudan missile threatens to inflame “an already volatile, potentially dangerous situation,” he said.
He claimed Washington’s open to negotiations. Denuclearizing the North comes first. Since Korean War hostilities ended, America never negotiated in good faith.
Promises made were broken. North Koreans remember. Efforts to normalize relations were spurned. A longstanding uneasy armistice continues.
Fidel Castro commented. He discussed “great challenges” humanity faces. The “situation created in the Korean Peninsula (is) one of the most serious dangers of nuclear war since the October Crisis around Cuba in 1962, he said.”
If war erupts, “the peoples of both part of the Peninsula will be terribly sacrificed….” It’ll provide added proof that Obama is “the most sinister character in the history of the United States.”
Avoiding war is his call, said Castro. It’s also up to Americans to demand it.
Heightening tensions is a US specialty. On April 13, a “Joint Statement at the United States-Republic of Korea Foreign Ministers’ Meeting said:
“The United States reaffirms its commitment to the defense of the Republic of Korea in the wake of recent unacceptable provocations by North Korea.”
“Both sides agree on the importance of the denuclearization of North Korea, knowing that North Korea’s dangerous nuclear and missile programs threaten not only its neighbors, but also its own people.”
“The United States stands vigilantly by the Republic of Korea’s side. (Both) countries remain committed to the goal of peaceful denuclearization.”
America’s nuclear armed and dangerous. Its arsenal and global delivery systems make the unthinkable possible. Strategic and tactical nuclear weapons target the region.
Washington asserts the right to use them preemptively. Eventually perhaps they’ll do so. The threat is real.
Offensive missile defense systems are regionally land and sea-based. They encircle Russia, China and North Korea. They’re key parts of America’s first-strike policy. Obama accelerated their deployment.
At the same time, America encourages Russia and China to reduce their nuclear arsenals. It wants North Korea denuclearized. Doing so makes a US first-strike more likely.
America’s the only country ever to use nuclear weapons. It’s not hard imagining they’ll do so again. East Asia’s a prime target. China, Russia and North Korea know it. Thermonuclear disaster is possible.
Washington threatens the region. North Korea is blamed. On April 12, New York Times editors headlined “The North Korean Problem,” saying:
“….Washington (is) willing to resume long-stalled negotiations but only if the North Koreans….move seriously on denuclearization.”
“But the window into North Korea’s nuclear intentions and American policy in response was as blurry as ever.”
“The Defense Intelligence Agency rang alarms bells on Thursday with a report that it had concluded with ‘moderate confidence’ that the North was capable of launching a missile with a nuclear warhead.”
“North Korea poses a more imminent nuclear threat than Iran.” Washington so far “failed to curb either the North’s nuclear weapons program or its bellicosity.”
Numerous New York Times reports, commentaries and editorials falsely claim a North Korean threat. Hyperbole and misinformation substitute for hard facts. Fingers point the wrong way.
Readers are systematically lied to. It’s standard Times practice. Doing so marches in lockstep with Washington’s imperial policy. Times editors aren’t alone. Other Western ones match them.
On April 2, the Washington Post’s editorial board headlined “Answer North Korea with financial sanctions,” saying:
North Korea “manage(s) to concoct….provocative announcement(s) aimed at Washington.” Kim Jong Un declared a “state of war.”
”Could this untested, 30-year-old dictator be preparing to (do so against) the United States or South Korea? The worrying reality is that it is virtually impossible for outsiders to know for sure.”
It’s “playing an old and familiar game. (It’s) stoking a crisis atmosphere in order to rally support (and ) pressure the United States and its allies into opening negotiations.”
Previous US administrations “learned the hard way, answering provocations with diplomacy will not lead to concessions….only to another round of provocations.”
As usual, Post editors twisted truth. Pyongyang’s blamed for US belligerence and duplicity. They want tougher policies imposed.
They spurn peaceful conflict resolution. They want measures increasing the chances for war. They might get what they wish for. They may regret having done so.
A Fox News Wall Street Journal Editorial Report asked “what are the Norks up to?” Three panel members responded. Matt Kaminski said what’s ongoing “happened before.”
“If you push them too far, they might do something stupid.” They’re “unpredictable.”
According to Dan Henninger:
Kim Jong Un’s father and grandfather were “more unstable than he is.” He accused them of offenses they didn’t commit. It’s standard media scoundrel practice.
Henninger claims Pyongyang’s “capable of (a) Pearl Harbor-type attack.”
Kim Strassel said North Korea “manufacture(d) a crisis.” It did so to “secure high-level talk(s and) get concessions from the West.”
The remaining discussion continued along the same lines. Pyongyang’s blamed for Washington’s provocations. Fingers point the wrong way. At the same time, Journal editors claimed Iran’s about to “go nuclear.”
Chicago Tribune editors headlined “Another North Korea? No thanks. So squeeze Iran. Harder,” saying:
“At any moment, North Korea may fire more missiles….”
“As all of us wait to see what comes next, no one in the West knows the intentions of….Kim Jong Un.”
“North Korea has a growing nuclear arsenal. It commands world attention with its threats of nuclear retaliation against the US and other enemies.”
It may be able to launch a nuclear weapon by ballistic missile. “All of this worries not only American officials but also US allies in the region….”
“Now imagine a world with not one rambunctious and nuke-emboldened North Korea, but two.”
“That is, imagine a world in which the Islamic despots of Iran, too, control a nuclear arsenal.”
Today’s Tribune editors replicate former publisher Robert McCormick. He was outspoken and conservative. He was rabidly right-wing, anti-union and belligerent.
He was heir to the International Harvester fortune. He became the Republican party’s kingmaker. He supported America’s 1916 Mexico invasion. He was a cavalry major in the conflict.
In WW I, he was an artillery officer. He rose to the rank of colonel. He was ardently anti-Communist. His editorials condemned it. Today’s follow in his footsteps. They support tough measures against North Korea and Iran. They blame both countries for America’s belligerence.
Alexander Voronstsov heads Russia’s Institute of Oriental Studies. He calls North Korea’s fears justifiable. It’s concerned about annual US/South Korean war games.
They prepare for war. Perhaps that’s Washington’s intention. Its policies belie its rhetoric. Obama’s waging multiple imperial wars.
America wants unchallenged global dominance. East Asia represents the final frontier.
Washington deplores peace. It prioritizes war. It threatens humanity. Attacking North Korea or Iran could precipitate global war. The danger is real. Both countries have justifiable cause for concern.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
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A trove of leaked classified reports has confirmed what many had suspected – US drone kills in Pakistan are not the precision strikes against top-level al-Qaeda terrorists they are portrayed as by the Obama administration.
Instead, many of the attacks are aimed at suspected low-level tribal militants, who may pose no direct danger to the United States – and for many there appears to be little evidence to justify the assassinations.
Top secret documents obtained by McClatchy newspapers in the US show the locations, identities and numbers of those attacked and killed in Pakistan in 2006-8 and 2010-11, as well as explanations for why the targets were picked.
The statistics illustrate the breadth of the US ‘drone doctrine’ – which has never been defined by consecutive US administrations. Between 1,990 and 3,308 people are reported to have been killed in the drone strikes in Pakistan since 2004, the vast majority of them during the Obama terms.
In the 12-month period up to 2011, 43 out of 95 drone strikes in the reports (which give an account of the vast majority of US operations in the country) were not aimed at al-Qaeda at all. And 265 out of 482 people killed in those assassinations, were defined internally as “extremists”.
Indeed, only six of the men killed – less than two percent – were senior al-Qaeda leaders.
Some of the groups include the Haqqani network and the Taliban Movement of Pakistan, both militant organizations, but ones the US did not designate as terrorists until 2012 and 2010 respectively. Neither one has ever conducted an attack on US soil.
It also confirms that attacks during the George W. Bush era, were conducted on targets picked by ISI, Pakistan’s security agency, which has no obligations to comply with US legal criteria.
Furthermore, in some cases it is difficult to confirm that the targets were militants at all.
In the strikes above, the internal reports showed that only one civilian had been killed. But the modus operandi revealed behind the strikes, shows that some of the attacks seem to have been based on the certain people or visitors being present as certain locations, or merely associating with those the US believes were terrorists. This chimes with the accusation that the US is carrying out a policy of “signature strikes” – attacks based on behavior, or “signature” that would be expected of a terrorist, rather than any specific illegal activity.
These “signatures” apparently include such suspicious behavior as taking part in a funeral procession or first responding to an initial drone strike. Last year, the United Nation’s special rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism, Ben Emmerson, said it’s believed that, “since President Obama took office, at least 50 civilians were killed in follow-up strikes when they had gone to help victims and more than 20 civilians have also been attacked in deliberate strikes on funerals and mourners.”
The US has previously refused to admit that it operates such a policy.
Some of the assassinations, such as that of, Mohammad, the younger brother of the leader of the Haqqani network, Badruddin, appear to have been simply errors, with the victims branded as terrorists only after the fact.
All this seems to go against the assurance of John Brennan, the former White House counterterrorism chief, and new CIA head, who is the mastermind behind the drone policy
“We only authorize a particular operation against a specific individual if we have a high degree of confidence that the individual being targeted is indeed the terrorist we are pursuing,” Brennan explained a year ago.
Obama’s administration has also said all targets are on a “list of active terrorists,” compiled with “extraordinary care and thoughtfulness”. Obama has also explicitly stated that drones should not carry out “speculative” killings.
But other than when ordering assassinations of US citizens, the President does not have to give full information to the Senate about the basis for any drone attack, much less give it a legal justification.
The latest revelations have unleashed a torrent of protest from experts who believe that the program is extra-judicial, violates Pakistan’s sovereignty, and is counter-productive in the long term.
“I have never seen nor am I aware of any rules of engagement that have been made public that govern the conduct of drone operations in Pakistan, or the identification of individuals and groups other than al Qaida and the Afghan Taliban,” Christopher Swift, a national security law expert from Georgetown University told McClatchy.
“We are doing this on a case-by-case, ad hoc basis, rather than a systematic or strategic basis.”
Micah Zenko, from the Council on Foreign Relations, a foreign policy think tank, went further, and accused the government of“misleading the public about the scope of who can legitimately be targeted.”
He added: “When there is such a disconnect between who the administration says it kills and who it actually kills, that hypocrisy itself is a very dangerous precedent that other countries will emulate.”
Last month Ben Emmerson, after a secret research trip to the country announced that drone strikes violate Pakistan’s sovereignty.
Emmerson added that the Pakistani government conveyed to him that it does not consent to the attacks, something that is often challenged in Washington and fuels mass protests in Pakistan.
Drone strikes were first used after the 9/11 attacks from bases in Pakistan and Uzbekistan, in combat missions inside Afghanistan. More than a decade later, Washington has expanded the use of the remotely controlled aircraft into Yemen, Somalia and most of all Pakistan.
The US has carried out countless attacks on targets in northwest Pakistan since 2004 through the CIA’s Special Activities Division. Begun by President George W. Bush, the intensity of the missions has increased under the presidency of Barack Obama.
Islamabad publicly condemns these attacks but is known to have shared intelligence with the US and allowed drones to operate from its territory until April 2011, when NATO forces killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in the Salala incident. WikiLeaks cables also revealed that Pakistan’s Army Chief Ashfaq Parvez Kayani sanctioned the flights and in 2008 even asked the CIA for more “Predator coverage.”
Ordinary Pakistanis have also repeatedly protested against these attacks as a violation of its sovereignty and because of immense civilian collateral damage, including the death dozens of women and children.
PRAGUE, (SANA)- Ex-CNN reporter Amber Lyon revealed that during her work for the channel she received orders to send false news and exclude some others which the US administration did not favor with the aim to create a public opinion in favor of launching an aggression on Iran and Syria.
Lyon was quoted by the Slovak main news website as saying that the mainstream US media outlets intentionally work to create a propaganda against Iran to garner public opinion’s support for a military invasion against it.
She revealed that the scenario used before launching the war on Iraq is being prepared to be repeated where Iran and Syria are now being subject to constant ‘demonization’.
The former reporter clarified that the CNN channel manipulates and fabricates news and follows selectiveness when broadcasting news, stressing that the Channel receives money from the U.S. government and other countries’ governments in exchange for news content.
The scene of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City
Ellen Mariani’s petition to the Supreme Court sought to reinstate her wrongful death lawsuit against US government officials and others – a suit which had been denied, at lower levels, on the grounds that she had no standing to sue those responsible for her husband’s death! In fact, Ellen Mariani was cheated by lawyers who were secretly working for the other side, and by judges with massive conflicts of interest.”
Ellen Mariani, whose husband Neil was murdered on September 11, 2001, had turned down more than a million dollars in government hush money to pursue the real 9/11 criminals in federal court.
After eleven years, two separate lawsuits, and an unbelievable series of encounters with corrupt lawyers and Israeli-American judges, Ellen Mariani has finally heard from the United States Supreme Court. And the Supreme Court’s message is loud and clear: There will be no truth, and no justice, concerning 9/11… at least not in the US court system.
Ellen Mariani’s petition to the Supreme Court sought to reinstate her wrongful death lawsuit against US government officials and others – a suit which had been denied, at lower levels, on the grounds that she had no standing to sue those responsible for her husband’s death! In fact, Ellen Mariani was cheated by lawyers who were secretly working for the other side, and by judges with massive conflicts of interest.
Vincent Gillespie of the Ellen Mariani Legal Defense Fund explains: “It’s politics. They don’t want any 9/11 cases to go forward… If this had come to trial, there’s all kinds of evidence that could have come out.”
Ellen Mariani’s case, like almost all 9/11-related litigation, was channeled through the courtroom of Judge Alvin Hellerstein. Gillespie charges:
“One of the problems was Judge Hellerstein. He’s an immense problem. First, we have Israeli defendants here. ICTS (the airline security company established in 1982 by members of Israeli intelligence) is one of the defendants. And Hellerstein is a Zionist Jew with all kinds of connections to the Jewish community. His sister lives in Israel, his son works in an Israeli law firm, he’s involved in a couple of Jewish organizations in New York. His wife is involved in a Jewish organization. Just that by itself is going to create a conflict of interest. He’ll want to protect Israeli defendants.”
Israeli defendants? Were there Israelis involved in 9/11?
Gillespie explains: “There were over 180 Israelis arrested on and around 9/11. The person overseeing that was Michael Chertoff, a dual national Israeli-American. And he sent them all back with a slap on the wrist for visa violations.”
(Note: The case for Israeli involvement in 9/11 has been made in Christopher Bollyn’s book Solving 9/11; a much shorter brief is available on-line by searching for “Israel Did 9/11, All the Proof in the World!”)
Why would Judge Hellerstein, a man completely bound up in Israeli connections and conflicts of interest, preside over virtually all 9/11-related litigation? Why would Hellerstein’s court repeatedly stymie all 9/11 survivors and family members interested in pursuing justice?
Vincent Gillespie sums it up: “The whole system is controlled by Zionist Jews!”
Here are some of the details given by Gillespie:
“Judge Hellerstein’s son is Joseph Hellerstein. Joseph Hellerstein worked for an Israeli law firm. That Israeli law firm represented a company called B.O.S., Better On-Line Solutions. One of the guys on the board of directors is a very wealthy Israeli man who was formerly the chairman of the Board of Directors of ICTS. Not only that, his family has a majority ownership stake in ICTS – they own more than 50% of the company! Now that company is a defendant in this case. Not only that, but it is the parent company of Hunt-Leigh USA. Hunt-Leigh USA was the passenger screening company that allegedly let all these hijackers on the planes at Logan Airport. And that’s also a defendant in the case.
“And these are not the only (conflicts of interest). These patterns of connections are detailed in the April 2012 filing by Bruce Leichty, Ellen Mariani’s attorney, with the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals.
When they get to the two-judge Appeals Court, guess what happens? One of the judges on that panel is a woman named Susan Carney. Well, she’s married to Lincoln Kaplan, who is entirely involved in the Zionist Jewish community. There’s a conflict of interest right there already. And the presiding judge is Dennis Shanker. And he’s involved in all these Zionist activities. He took this trip to Israel where he was talking to Knesset members and ‘terrorism experts.’ It was funded by Israel. The whole system is controlled by Zionist Jews! So Ellen Mariani’s appeal goes to them! And if you look at their response to Ellen Mariani’s April 19th filing, they’re already calling it anti-Semitic. When they get to the appeals court, they get a Jewish judge. And in this June 6th, 2012 decision, they get really nasty. And just like in the April Gallop case, they threaten sanctions – a huge fine, like $30,000! That’s what they do. They threaten sanctions, they’re starting to throw their weight around. I’m not sure if they’re actually going to get sanctions. But they tried to; that’s what the court tried to do. So there are a lot of problems here. And that’s just one area of improprieties.”