I couldn’t think of a better excuse to start over for the new year. We had a decent offer on the domain, “theintercept.com”, so this will be the opportunity to roll out another blog exploring the hypocrisy and origins of the war on terror. Receive updates for the upcoming movie of the same name. The new domain will be www.americanterrorist.com. Join us or die!
There’s really no reason for the press to suggest that the recent slew of scandals involving the Obama administration — Benghazi, the AP phone-record seizure, the snooping in James Rosen’s e-mail, the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups, and so on — are a confusing jumble. There is a very clear thread running through all of the administration’s actions:
- The U.S. deputy chief of mission in Libya, Gregory Hicks, says that he was told not to speak to a member of Congress about Benghazi without a State Department lawyer present, that he received a phone call from Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff disapproving of his discussion with Representative Jason Chaffetz, and that he was “effectively demoted” afterwards.
- The controversy over the editing of the “talking points” revolves around the steady deletion of factual information from the explanation to the American people, leading to the emphasis of a protest that the U.S. personnel on the ground did not report.
- In an effort to ferret out leaks, the Department of Justice secretly reviewed the phone records of at least 20 phone lines of Associated Press reporters — their work, home, and cell-phone lines. The move is unprecedented and has journalists up in arms because it means that a journalist can no longer guarantee the confidentiality of any phone conversation with a source that wishes to not be publicly identified.
- The Department of Justice went before a judge and alleged that Fox News reporter James Rosen was a criminal “co-conspirator” in leaking classified information, in order to access his personal e-mail accounts. No reporter has ever been prosecuted as a co-conspirator under the Espionage Act; in all previous cases, it has been used to prosecute the leaker of classified information, not the recipient. The classified information in question was an analyst’s assessment that North Korea would respond to new U.N. sanctions with another nuclear test.
- In another bit of punishment for whistleblowers, the Department of Justice Inspector General determined that former Arizona U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke leaked a document smearing Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent John Dodson, an Operation Fast and Furious whistle-blower. The IG concluded that “his explanations for why he did not believe his actions were improper were not credible.”
- Despite all these ruthless efforts to stop leaks elsewhere in government, the Cincinnati office of the IRS leaked unapproved applications for nine conservative groups to the media web site ProPublica. The IRS separately released confidential information about the National Organization for Marriage. The IRS asserted, and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration concluded, the releases were “inadvertent.” The problem with the “inadvertent” explanation is that the Human Rights Campaign said they were sent the private IRS filing from NOM via a “whistleblower.”
- The Environmental Protection Agency waived their fees for Freedom of Information Act requests from “green” or environmental groups while keeping them in place for conservative groups.
All of these actions involve an effort to control information.
Some parts of this administration focus on preventing information that is contrary to the administration’s agenda from getting out, or hindering its distribution, and making sure that the only information that goes out supports the perspective of the administration. Other parts leak confidential information designed to attack the reputations of those holding perspectives the administration opposes (NOM, the nine conservative groups) or other whistleblowers (ATF agent Dodson).
As with many “terrorism” related events since 9/11, the Boston bombing official narrative proves to be a web of lies as important facts are revealed. It turns out that the FBI has lied about its knowledge of the alleged suspects, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, already being presented as guilty not only in the mainstream press but by the President himself.
According to the suspects’ mother, the FBI had been following them for years:
The FBI originally feigned ignorance over the identity of the two Boston bombing suspects, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, as they appealed to an unwitting public to help them “identify” and “find” the suspects. […]
Russia Today, in an article titled, “‘They were set up, FBI followed them for years’- Tsarnaevs’ mother to RT,” stated of the suspects’ mother:
But her biggest suspicion surrounding the case was the constant FBI surveillance she said her family was subjected to over the years. She is surprised that having been so stringent with the entire family, the FBI had no idea the sons were supposedly planning a terrorist act.
She would say of the FBI to Russia Today:
They used to come [to our] home, they used to talk to me…they were telling me that he [the older, 26-y/o Tamerlan] was really an extremist leader and that they were afraid of him. They told me whatever information he is getting, he gets from these extremist sites… they were controlling him, they were controlling his every step…and now they say that this is a terrorist act! Never ever is this true, my sons are innocent!
[…] The FBI would then be forced to concede that indeed it had interviewed the suspects, in 2011, two years before the Boston bombings. (Tony Cartalucci Boston Bombing Suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev Reported Killed, Was Alive When Detained: Tamerlan’s Aunt, Global Research, April 22, 2013.)
We were also told that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in an exchange of gunfire after he and his brother had robbed a 7-Eleven:
When the shootout ended, one of the suspects, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, a former boxer, had been shot and fatally wounded. He was wearing explosives, several law enforcement officials said. (Katharine Q. Seelye, William K. Rashbaum and Michael Cooper 2nd Bombing Suspect Caught After Frenzied Hunt Paralyzes Boston, The New York Times, April 19, 2013.)
With a bomb strapped to his chest, one of the Boston Marathon suspects was killed early Friday after he and his accomplice brother robbed a 7-Eleven, shot a police officer to death, carjacked an SUV and hurled explosives in an extraordinary firefight with law enforcement, authorities told NBC News. (Pete Williams, Richard Esposito, Michael Isikoff and Erin McClam, NBC News, One Boston Marathon suspect killed; second suspect, his brother, on loose after firefight, NBC News, April 19, 2013.)
The events surrounding Tamerlan’s death reported by the media are simply not true. It turns out that Tamerlan’ aunt identified him as a “naked, cuffed, clearly alive and well detainee seen in video aired by CNN”:
Tamerlan Tsarnaev in custody
Was Tamerlan Assassinated?
The Boston Globe confirmed that Marathon Bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev was in custody, contradicting earlier reports that he had been killed in crossfire. If he was in custody and is now dead, does that not suggest that he might have been the object of an extrajudicial assassination? The circumstances of his death remain to be clarified.
Moreover, the 7-Eleven robbery was actually unrelated to the Tsarnaev brothers:
There was a 7-Eleven robbery in Cambridge last night, but it had nothing to do with the Boston Marathon bombing suspects.
Margaret Chabris, the director of corporate communication at 7- Eleven, says the surveillance video of the crime was not taken at a 7-Eleven and that the suspect that did rob the 7-Eleven does not look like Tamerlan or Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
“The suspect in the photos for that particular 7-Eleven robbery looks nothing like the suspects,” Chabris says. “The police or someone made a mistake. Someone was confused.”
[…] Again, they might be guilty. But as Glenn Greenwald notes:
The overarching principle here should be that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is entitled to a presumption of innocence until he is actually proven guilty. As so many cases have proven – from accused (but exonerated) anthrax attacker Stephen Hatfill to accused (but exonerated) Atlanta Olympic bomber Richard Jewell to dozens if not hundreds of Guantanamo detainees accused of being the “worst of the worst” but who were guilty of nothing – people who appear to be guilty based on government accusations and trials-by-media are often completely innocent. Media-presented evidence is no substitute for due process and an adversarial trial. (Washington’s Blog, Boston Terror Narrative Starts Falling Apart, Global Research, April 23, 2013)
On April 19 Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was arrested and brought to a hospital. According to Reuters, “Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was wounded during at least one of two gun battles with police on Friday, suffering gunshot wounds to his head, neck, legs and hand [...]“. On April 24, the Huffington Post reported:
Two U.S. officials say the surviving suspect in the Boston bombings was unarmed when police captured him hiding inside a boat in a neighborhood back yard.
Authorities originally said they had exchanged gunfire with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev for more than one hour Friday evening before they were able to subdue him. (Adam Goldman and Pete Yost, Boston Bombing Suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Reportedly Unarmed When Arrested In Boat, Officials Say, Huffington Post, April 24, 2013.)
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was unarmed and obviously brutalized by police
We still don’t know what really happened in Boston and who committed the attacks even though the mainstream media report that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has admitted being guilty. What we know for sure is that the official Boston bombing narrative is filled with lies and that since 9/11 and in the context of the fictitious “War on Terror”, Western governments, intelligence agencies and mainstream media have proven to be untrustworthy sources of information on alleged “terrorist attacks” or “foiled terrorist plots”.
Canada’s Complicity in the War on Terror
Three days after Boston was locked down, invaded by a colossal police-military apparatus on a surreal “teenagehunt”, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police made a very timely announcement: they had foiled a terrorist plot targeting a Via Rail passenger train. Or so they say.
In a very absurd press conference where three RCMP officers repeatedly answered questions with “we cannot comment as the investigation is ongoing”, the only information they seemed very eager to disclose was that the suspects “received guidance from Al-Qaeda in Iran”.
RCMP press conference
While the Canadian mainstream media take these RCMP allegations at face value, independent news outlets suspect hidden political motives behind the highly publicized announcement:
Neither the police nor government have given any reason as to why, after allowing the accused to remain at large for months, they were suddenly arrested Monday afternoon and in a very high-profile manner. […]
Speaking Tuesday after Jaser’s arraignment in a Toronto court, his lawyer, John Norris, drew attention to the timing of the police-government announcement that they had uncovered Canada’s first “al-Qaeda-sponsored” terror plot. Said Norris, “The timing of the arrest is a bit of a mystery and certainly I would like to hear the RCMP’s explanation for that. They have been very clear that there is no risk of public safety and it is surprising to say the least that this arrest would be made now, close on the heels of what happened in Boston and timed perfectly with what was happening in the House of Commons yesterday.”
On Friday, the Conservative government announced that it was changing the House of Commons’ agenda, scheduling third and final reading of its “Combating Terrorism Act” (Bill S-7) to begin Monday and conclude this week. Bill S-7 gives the state vast new powers. These include: the right to hold terrorism suspects for 72 hours without charge, to convene “investigative hearings” at which those believed to have information about an imminent terrorist attack are stripped of their right to remain silent, and the power to place restrictions for up to a year on the movements and rights of persons deemed by the state to be terrorist suspects but against whom they have insufficient evidence to lay charges. […]
US authorities have been quick to trumpet the Canadian claims of a thwarted terrorist attack—claims that boost their own efforts to portray North America as under siege from terrorists and justify a vast expansion of the national-security apparatus and coercive powers of the state. The US ambassador to Canada, David Jacobson, issued a statement Monday saying the arrests of Esseghaier and Jaser “were the result of extensive cross-border cooperation” and had underscored “that we face serious and real threats.” […]
At Monday’s press conference, the RCMP asserted that Esseghaier and Jaser had acted under the “direction and guidance” of “al-Qaeda elements located in Iran.”
The RCMP said that they had no evidence of Iranian government involvement. […]
The Harper Conservative government, which has declared itself Israel’s strongest ally and has expanded Canada’s decades’ old military-strategic alliance with Washington, broke off diplomatic relations with Teheran last summer. In justifying this action, Conservative Foreign Minister John Baird labeled Iran “the most significant threat to global peace and security in the world today.” (Keith Jones Canadian Government unveils “Terror Plot” as it Adopts Draconian New Law, World Socialist Web Site, April 24, 2013.)
We may recall a “terrorist plot” revealed in late November 2001. According to mainstream reports, Ahmed Ressam, who was convicted of plotting to bomb Los Angeles International Airport in 1999, had also planned to bomb a Montreal area with “the most visible concentration of Jews in Canada — a vibrant area of some 5,000 ultra-Orthodox Jews who stand out because of their traditional outfits of black coats and hats for men, long skirts and wigs for women. » (Ingrid Peritz, Montreal’s brush with terror, The Globe and Mail, November 30, 2001.)
The Globe stated further:
Members of the Hasidic community in Outremont responded with shock after hearing that Mr. Ressam and Samir Ait Mohamed wanted to detonate a bomb in the area because it was predominantly Jewish.
The stated choice of explosives — a bomb on a gasoline truck — evoked the detonating power of the fuel-laden planes that ripped through the World Trade Center. (Ibid.)
Samir Aït Mohamed happened to be a fake Algerian refugee and “an informant for Canadian law-enforcement authorities [RCMP].” (Mike Carter, Montreal bomb plot revealed in Ressam case documents, Seattle Times, November 30, 2001.)
The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) was also involved in a terrorist plot. Joseph Gilles Breault, a.k.a. Youssef Mouammar or Abou Djihad, had threatened to attack the Montreal metro with a biochemical weapon in 1998. He was a CSIS agent.
With that in mind, the latest RCMP “exploit” raises even more questions on this revived Al-Qaeda threat focused on Iran. Who’s behind Al-Qaeda in Iran?:
As the FBI reels from what now appears to be revelations it was directly involved in the Boston Marathon bombings, a deluge of FBI “success” stories have been “serendipitously” splashed across Western headlines. Among them was an allegedly “foiled” terror attack in Canada, reported to be the work of terrorists supported by “Al-Qaeda operatives in Iran.” The Globe and Mail, in its report, “Canada joins U.S. in alleging al-Qaeda has operatives based in Iran,” states:
[…] The Sunni-based al-Qaeda and Shia Iran belong to different branches of Islam that have been at odds historically. But in recent years U.S. officials have formally alleged that Iran has allowed al-Qaeda members to operate out of its territory.”
[…] Hersh in his 2008 New Yorker piece titled, “Preparing the Battlefield: The Bush Administration steps up its secret moves against Iran,” spelled out a damning indictment of US involvement in bolstering, arming, and funding terror organizations, not linked to, but described as actually being Al Qaeda [...]:
One of the most active and violent anti-regime groups in Iran today is the Jundallah, also known as the Iranian People’s Resistance Movement, which describes itself as a resistance force fighting for the rights of Sunnis in Iran. “This is a vicious Salafi organization whose followers attended the same madrassas as the Taliban and Pakistani extremists,” Nasr told me. “They are suspected of having links to Al Qaeda and they are also thought to be tied to the drug culture.” The Jundallah took responsibility for the bombing of a busload of Revolutionary Guard soldiers in February, 2007. At least eleven Guard members were killed. According to Baer and to press reports, the Jundallah is among the groups in Iran that are benefiting from U.S. support. (Tony Cartalucci, Who is Behind “Al Qaeda in Iran”?, Global Research, April 23, 2013.)
Otherwise the brothers’ links to Chechen terrorists makes very little sense, since the latter, like many other terrorist groups and/or so-called freedom fighters depending on the strategy of the day, have been supported by the US:
What is abundantly clear is that the US government is not committed to fighting terrorists.
Quite the opposite. US intelligence has been recruiting and grooming terrorists for more than thirty years, while at same time upholding the absurd notion that these terrorists, who are bona fide CIA “intelligence assets”, constitute a threat to the American Homeland. These alleged threats by “An Outside Enemy” are part of a propaganda ploy behind the “Global War on Terrorism” (GWOT).
[...] The development of an Islamist terrorist militia in different countries around the World is part of an intricate US intelligence project.
While the Tsarnaev brothers are casually accused without evidence of having links to Chechen terrorists, the important question is who is behind the Chechen terrorists?
World Socialist Website
Bill Van Aken
The Boston Marathon bombings last week, which killed three and wounded over 170, were seized on to implement a far-reaching attack on democratic rights, including a police lockdown of an entire city. As with previous incidents, much remains unknown, including the motive of those who allegedly carried it out, whether others were involved, and what connection the FBI and other government agencies had to them.
In a televised statement immediately after the capture of 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving suspect in the bombings, President Barack Obama told the American public: “Obviously, tonight there are still many unanswered questions. Among them, why did young men who grew up and studied here, as part of our communities and our country, resort to such violence? How did they plan and carry out these attacks, and did they receive any help?”
However, it is the government that has released very little information about what it knows. Moreover, the Obama administration has decreed that Dzhokhar will be denied his Miranda rights, allowing CIA, FBI and military interrogators to question him without the presence of an attorney, thereby further limiting any information surfacing outside of what is vetted by the government and its intelligence agencies.
In addition to the questions raised by Obama, there are a number of others that bear serious scrutiny.
- How did the two brothers obtain the explosives used in the bombings?
- What relationship existed between the Tsarnaev brothers and the FBI and other US intelligence agencies?
- Did US authorities have any knowledge about the Boston bombing plot before it was executed?
- What role did US policy in relation to Russia and the separatist movements in Chechnya and other parts of the North Caucasus play in the US government’s attitude toward the Tsarnaevs?
While much remains murky about these and other issues, one thing is clear: the Boston bombing, like virtually every other major terrorist incident, real or invented, since the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York City and Washington, was carried out by someone who was known to and under surveillance by US intelligence agencies.
Armored vehicles in downtown Boston [Photo: Jeff Cutler]
There have been increasing questions raised concerning the FBI’s handling of a request from a foreign government, presumed to be Russia, that it investigate Tamerlan Tsarnaev on suspicion of involvement in Islamist terrorism.
The request came in advance of a six-month visit that Tamerlan made to Russia beginning in January of last year, during which he stayed with his father in Dagestan and visited Chechnya, where several members of the family live.
In a statement released in the wake of the Boston bombings, the FBI acknowledged that Russian authorities had determined that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was a “follower of radical Islam and a strong believer, and that he had changed drastically since 2010 as he prepared to leave the United States for travel to the country’s region to join unspecified underground groups.”
The FBI said that in response to this request it “checked US government databases and other information to look for such things as derogatory telephone communications, possible use of online sites associated with the promotion of radical activity, associations with other persons of interest, travel history and plans, and education history.”
The statement concluded that the FBI “did not find any terrorism activity, domestic or foreign, and those results were provided to the foreign government in the summer of 2011.”
The Russian media has reported that Russian security services again contacted the FBI about Tamerlan Tsarnaev in November of last year.
Both of the parents of the two suspects have provided accounts of the FBI’s role that contradict the agency’s public statement.
The mother of the two brothers, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, a naturalized US citizen, told Russia Today that the FBI agents had told her that “Tamerlan was an extremist leader and they were afraid of him. They told me whatever information he is getting, he gets from these extremists’ web sites.”
“It is a setup,” she added. “He was controlled by FBI for three to five years. They knew what my son was doing. They knew what actions and what sites on the Internet he was going… So how could this happen? How could they, they were controlling his every step, and they are telling today that this is a terrorist act.”
In an interview with the Reuters news agency, the young men’s father, Anzor Tsarnaev, said that the FBI had visited the family’s home in Cambridge, Massachusetts at least five times looking for Tamerlan. He said: “They said there were doing preventive work. They were afraid there might be some explosions on the streets of Boston.”
The father said that he had been present at one FBI interrogation in which agents had told his son, “We know what sites you are on, we know where you are calling, we know everything about you. Everything.” Like the mother, he insisted that his sons had been “framed up.”
Russian sources reported that both parents had subsequently been questioned by Russia’s Federal Security Service, after which they cut off further contact with the Western media.
Reports of FBI involvement with Tamerlan Tsarnaev have led to criticism by US lawmakers, including South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who has called for the younger brother to be treated as an “enemy combatant” and turned over to the US military. He said in a Sunday television interview that “the ball was dropped” by the FBI.
There have been no explanations forthcoming about how “the ball was dropped.” And without either of the two suspects or anyone else providing a motive for the bombings, much is unclear.
Among the explanations that have been suggested is one from the Israeli web site Debka, citing “counterterrorism and intelligence sources,” who it said had concluded that the two brothers were “recruited by US intelligence as penetration agents” to gain access to jihadist networks in the Russian Caucasus, but then “turned coat and bit their recruiters.”
It has been widely charged that Washington has offered covert support to Chechen and other Islamist separatists in the Caucasus, who have waged two wars with Russian forces in 1994-1996 and again in 1999.
Chechen fighters have also been reportedly active in the Western-backed Islamist militias fighting to overthrow the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria. Videos supporting this war for regime-change were found on Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s YouTube channel, along with other Islamist material. The channel had some 700 subscribers. Moscow Times quoted Russian “intelligence expert” Andrei Soldatov as questioning the FBI’s handling of the case. “He was very open about his beliefs,” he said of Tamerlan. “I’m at a loss as to why the FBI didn’t pay attention to him then.”
A web site backing the Islamist groups in the North Caucasus posted a statement on Sunday denying any link between them and those who carried out the Boston Marathon bombings. “The Caucasus fighters are not waging any military activities against the United States of America,” the Kavkazcenter.com web site said. Servers for the site are located in the US.
A Russian intelligence source also told AFP, “At the moment we have no credible information about the Tsarnaev brothers’ involvement with the Caucasus Emirate movement,” the main Islamist organization in the region. The group has previously claimed responsibility for terrorist attacks such as the bombing of the Moscow airport in January 2011 in which 37 died and bombings of its metro system in 2010, which killed over 40.
As to whether the government had prior knowledge of the Boston bombing plot before last Monday’s explosions at the Marathon finish line, participants in the event have cited what they saw at the time as unusual developments. The coach of the University of Mobile’s cross-country team, Ali Stevenson, told the Alabama media that he found it odd that bomb-sniffing dogs were brought out at both the starting and finish lines.
“They kept making announcements to the participants do not worry, it’s just a training exercise,” he said. He added that he had also observed “law enforcement spotters” on roofs at the start of the race. “Evidently, I don’t believe they were just having a training exercise,” Stevenson said. “I think they must have had some sort of threat or suspicion called in.”
If such prior knowledge did exist, this raises another question. In all but a handful of cases, every major terrorist plot reported in the US over the past decade has been the product of a sting operation organized by the FBI or other police agencies. In almost all of these cases, those arrested and prosecuted for terrorism would never have had the means or even the intention of carrying out such acts without the guiding hand of covert informers and agent provocateurs.
This pattern goes back at least to the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, in which a former Egyptian army officer, Emad Salem acting as a paid FBI informant, actually participated in building the bomb, claiming that the original plan had been to substitute harmless powder for the explosives.
Were the Boston bombings the result of such an operation that got out of control? Or did sections of the state know about it and allow it to go forward?
How the Boston Marathon bombing plot unfolded and what motives lay behind it are still not known. Only one thing is certain: whatever the source of this terrorist atrocity, it will be used by the US government as a pretext to escalate militarism abroad and repression at home.