Jan 242014
 

ATBanner

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!

May 242013
 

Harford Courant
Jon Lender, Edmund H. Mahony, Dave Altimari

The staffs of the state’s top prosecutor and the governor’s office have been working in secret with General Assembly leaders on legislation to withhold records related to the police investigation into the Dec. 14 Newtown elementary school massacre — including victims’ photos, tapes of 911 calls, and possibly more.

The behind-the-scenes legislative effort came to light Tuesday when The Courant obtained a copy of an email by a top assistant to Chief State’s Attorney Kevin Kane, Timothy J. Sugrue. Sugrue, an assistant state’s attorney, discussed options considered so far, including blocking release of statements “made by a minor.”

“There is complete agreement regarding photos etc., and audio tapes, although the act may allow the disclosure of audio transcripts,” Sugrue wrote to Kane, two other Kane subordinates and to Danbury State’s Attorney Stephen Sedensky, who is directing the investigation of the killings.

The bill that’s being crafted has not been handled under routine legislative procedures — it hasn’t gone through the committee process, which includes a public hearing, for example. Sugrue’s email Tuesday indicated that a draft of the bill was being worked on by leaders in both the House and Senate, and might be ready as soon as the end of the day.

He wrote: “I just received a call from Natalie Wagner” — a member of the legal counsel’s staff in the office of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

“She believes that draft language will be forthcoming today (the work of both houses) in the form of a special act. …” Sugrue wrote that Wagner “will send me the draft in confidence when she receives it, and I will immediately forward it.”

However, late Tuesday, the legislation proposed by Kane wasn’t ready to be acted on in either legislative chamber, said Malloy’s director of communications, Andrew Doba. He said he did not know when that might happen.

“A lot of people, including our office, have heard the concerns expressed by the families of Newtown victims, and are exploring ways to respect the families’ right to privacy while also respecting the public’s right to information,” gubernatorial chief of staff Mark Ojakian said in a statement released by Doba.

A major question yet to be settled is whether the legislation would apply only to the Newtown case, or to documents from other criminal cases that are now subject to public disclosure. A report on the police investigation into the Newtown shooting is expected to be released in June.

As envisioned by Kane, the bill wouldn’t be limited to the Newtown file.

“We are seeking legislation to protect crime scene photographs protecting victims and certain 911 tapes,” Kane told The Courant Tuesday. “It is something that I have been concerned about for years and years and the situation in Newtown brings it to a head. I don’t want family members seeing pictures of their loved ones publicized in a manner in which these are subject to be published.”

He said as he sees the legislation, it would apply to “basically crime scene photographs depicting injuries to victims and recordings, 911 recordings displaying the mental anguish of victims. Things like that, of that category. And it seems to me that the intrusion of the privacy of the individuals outweighs any public interest in seeing these.”

Sugrue said in his email that the “forthcoming” language would be “in the form of a special act, not an amendment to the [state's Freedom of Information Act].”

As originally discussed behind the scenes, the proposed legislation would have amended the state’s freedom of information law by adding a blanket exemption to disclosure of any “criminal investigation photograph, film, videotape, other image or recording or report depicting or describing the victim or victims.”

Colleen Murphy, the director of the state’s FOI Commission, said Tuesday that her staff had argued against the idea of such a blanket change. She said a couple of weeks ago the office of House Speaker Brendan Sharkey provided her agency with a draft including the blanket exception. She said she was advised that this draft would not be put to a vote, but she knew nothing abut the contents of the “forthcoming” draft.

Murphy said she’d urged that lawmakers be “thoughtful and careful about any legislation” and to “not be reactive to one situation” by making changes that could have long-term, unintended effects.

Murphy was unaware of Sugrue’s email when The Courant told her about it late Tuesday afternoon. She said she and her staff had not been receiving detailed updates. Asked if she would have liked to have been kept aware of developments such as Sugrue’s email, she said yes.

The killing of 20 first-graders and six women at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown has sparked a number of legislative proposals this year to protect the privacy of the victims’ families and spare them further pain. One example is a bill that would exempt the death certificates of minors from public disclosure for six months.

Continue reading »

May 072013
 

CBS
Sharyl Attkisson

Federal agent John Dodson says what he was asked to do was beyond belief.

He was intentionally letting guns go to Mexico?

“Yes ma’am,” Dodson told CBS News. “The agency was.”

An Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms senior agent assigned to the Phoenix office in 2010, Dodson’s job is to stop gun trafficking across the border. Instead, he says he was ordered to sit by and watch it happen.

Investigators call the tactic letting guns “walk.” In this case, walking into the hands of criminals who would use them in Mexico and the United States.

Sharyl Attkisson’s original “Gunrunner” report

Center for Public Integrity report

Dodson’s bosses say that never happened. Now, he’s risking his job to go public.

“I’m boots on the ground in Phoenix, telling you we’ve been doing it every day since I’ve been here,” he said. “Here I am. Tell me I didn’t do the things that I did. Tell me you didn’t order me to do the things I did. Tell me it didn’t happen. Now you have a name on it. You have a face to put with it. Here I am. Someone now, tell me it didn’t happen.”

Agent Dodson and other sources say the gun walking strategy was approved all the way up to the Justice Department. The idea was to see where the guns ended up, build a big case and take down a cartel. And it was all kept secret from Mexico.

ATF named the case “Fast and Furious.”

Surveillance video obtained by CBS News shows suspected drug cartel suppliers carrying boxes of weapons to their cars at a Phoenix gun shop. The long boxes shown in the video being loaded in were AK-47-type assault rifles.

 

So it turns out ATF not only allowed it – they videotaped it.

Documents show the inevitable result: The guns that ATF let go began showing up at crime scenes in Mexico. And as ATF stood by watching thousands of weapons hit the streets… the Fast and Furious group supervisor noted the escalating Mexican violence.

One e-mail noted, “958 killed in March 2010 … most violent month since 2005.” The same e-mail notes: “Our subjects purchased 359 firearms during March alone,” including “numerous Barrett .50 caliber rifles.”

Dodson feels that ATF was partly to blame for the escalating violence in Mexico and on the border. “I even asked them if they could see the correlation between the two,” he said. “The more our guys buy, the more violence we’re having down there.”

Senior agents including Dodson told CBS News they confronted their supervisors over and over.

 

Their answer, according to Dodson, was, “If you’re going to make an omelette, you’ve got to break some eggs.”

There was so much opposition to the gun walking, that an ATF supervisor issued an e-mail noting a “schism” among the agents. “Whether you care or not people of rank and authority at HQ are paying close attention to this case…we are doing what they envisioned…. If you don’t think this is fun you’re in the wrong line of work… Maybe the Maricopa County jail is hiring detention officers and you can get $30,000 … to serve lunch to inmates…”

“We just knew it wasn’t going to end well. There’s just no way it could,” Dodson said.

 

On Dec. 14, 2010, Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was gunned down. Dodson got the bad news from a colleague.

According to Dodson, “They said, ‘Did you hear about the border patrol agent?’ And I said, ‘Yeah.’ And they said ‘Well it was one of the Fast and Furious guns.’ There’s not really much you can say after that.”

Two assault rifles ATF had let go nearly a year before were found at Terry’s murder.

Dodson said, “I felt guilty. I mean it’s crushing. I don’t know how to explain it.”

Sen. Grassley began investigating after his office spoke to Dodson and a dozen other ATF sources — all telling the same story.

Read Sen. Grassley’s letter to the attorney general

The response was “practically zilch,” Grassley said. “From the standpoint that documents we want – we have not gotten them. I think it’s a case of stonewalling.”

Dodson said he hopes that speaking out helps Terry’s family. They haven’t been told much of anything about his murder – or where the bullet came from.

“First of all, I’d tell them that I’m sorry. Second of all, I’d tell them I’ve done everything that I can for them to get the truth,” Dodson said. “After this, I don’t know what else I can do. But I hope they get it.”

Dodson said they never did take down a drug cartels. However, he said thousands of Fast and Furious weapons are still out there and will be claiming victims on both sides of the border for years to come.

Late tonight, the ATF said it will convene a panel to look into its national firearms trafficking strategy. But it refused to comment specifically on Sharyl’s report.

Statement from Kenneth E. Melson, Acting Director, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives:

 

“The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) will ask a multi-disciplinary panel of law enforcement professionals to review the bureau’s current firearms trafficking strategies employed by field division managers and special agents. This review will enable ATF to maximize its effectiveness when undertaking complex firearms trafficking investigations and prosecutions. It will support the goals of ATF to stem the illegal flow of firearms to Mexico and combat firearms trafficking in the United States.”

© 2011 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

  • Sharyl AttkissonSharyl Attkisson is a CBS News investigative correspondent based in Washington. All of her stories, videos and blogs are available here.

Continue reading »

Apr 282013
 

Global Research
Julie Lévesque

disinformation

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?
Continue reading »

Apr 282013
 

Nation of Change
Dave Lindorff

When a horrific incident like this is used to justify such new threats to our Constitutional freedom as an unprecedented martial law-style lockdown of an entire 1-million-person metropolitan area and a precedent-setting deliberately Miranda-free, attorney-free interrogation of a hospitalized, gravely wounded and sedated suspect, it is critical that the whole story be told, not just the official one.

Article image

Speaking as an investigative reporter with almost 40 years’s experience, I can say that when government officials won’t talk, they’re generally hiding something embarrassing or worse.

I tried, and nobody will talk about those Craft International Services private security personnel who were widely observed and photographed near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, wearing security ear-pieces, hats and T-shirts bearing the company’s skull logo, and all wearing the same dark coats, khaki pants and combat boots, some carrying what appear to have been radiation detectors. (I got no hard answers, though there were some inadvertent hints given.)

I first contacted a man identifying himself as Jack Fleming, a public affairs person with the Boston Athletic Assn., sponsor of the marathon. Fleming advised me that “If you want to ask about that you should contact the Commonwealth (of Massachusetts) Executive Office of Public Safety.”

I called that agency and spoke with the public information office there, a man named Terrell. He first said, “Did you call the Marathon organizers?” When I replied that I had, and that they had said to call his office, he replied, “They did?” Then he said, “You should call the City of Boston Police Department. They released a security plan to some media organizations.”

Indeed they had released that plan to the Boston Globe. Based upon the information it got from the police the article the Globe ran, did report that the Police had deployed “air patrols, K9 units, and more than 1,000 uniformed officers and soldiers along the 26-mile course and the finish line,” but it made no mention of the private contracting of soldiers-for-hire, which is what Craft International does (see the Craft website). News agency Reuters reported, meanwhile, that a top official for the Massachusetts state Homeland Security Department, Undersecretary Kurt Schwartz, told a group at Harvard U. that his agency had “planned” for a possible bombing attack on the marathon, even running a “table-top” exercise about such an event a week before the race.

I called the Boston Police to ask if they had hired the Craft International personnel who were observed at the scene just before and after the bombing, and was told by the public affairs office there that “Anything having to do with the investigation of the bombing would have to be referred to the FBI Boston Division office.” When I pointed out that I wasn’t asking anything about the investigation, but was simply asking who had hired the security personnel from Craft International, the answer was simply repeated: “You’ll have to ask the FBI.”

So I called the FBI, and got a public affairs person there named Amanda Cox. Her initial response to my question was, “I do not have any information on that,” then said I had been referred to her by the Boston Police Department, and said that photos of the scene after the bombing had shown Craft International personnel conversing with FBI agents. She then put down the phone, and I could hear her turn to a supervisor and ask, her voice muffled, “This guy’s asking about the Craft Security Consultants — who hired them and what they were doing.”

I next overheard the muffled voice of another woman to whom she had been speaking reply, “I think you could safely say, ‘I do know we worked with a lot of people who worked on security at the marathon…’” After that I couldn’t make out what was being said.

Cox later returned to the phone, and instead told me, “I’d refer you to the company on any information about who hired them.” (Taken together the overheard conversation and the official answer from Cox would at least seem to confirm that Craft’s people were hired for the event, and that the FBI knows a lot more than it is willing to say about them.)

Next I called Craft International. The company has no phone number listed on its website — just a general email address of info@thecraft.com (to which I wrote to asking for information, but which elicited no response)–but I found one listed for their headquarters office at 2101 Cedar Springs Rd., Suite 1400, Dallas, TX, in a listing on the company published in a directory in Bloomberg Businessweek, This entry noted that the company, in addition to “providing security, defense, and combat weapons training services for military, police, corporate and civilian clients in the US and internationally,” also “offers corporate and private and civilian training services…” The number, published in a business magazine, was clearly meant as a contact for potential customers to call.

A woman answered the phone brightly with the company’s name. However, when I identified myself as a reporter, and said I was wondering if someone could tell me who had hired personnel from the firm to work at the Boston Marathon, she responded with a flummoxed: “Um, I um, don’t really have any information on that. I’m just an answering service.”

I replied, “Look, the number I called is listed as the number of the company’s corporate headquarters at 2101 Cedar Springs Road. You’re not an answering service.”

At that point she said, “Let me see who I can transfer you to.”

However, after a long pause, she was back, and said, “The answer I’ve been given is that you should go to the website, where there’s an email address you can write to with your question.”

I had already done that, I told her. She then said she couldn’t help me and hung up.

I also called the US Department of Homeland Security, but a women named Angela who answered the press office number for this public government agency (she refused to provide her last name despite being the public information office) said the DHS media office was “only taking inquiries sent in by email.” I sent in an inquiry asking if any unit of the DHS had hired Craft International to provide security at the Boston Marathon, but so far have received no response.

As things stand, since it’s highly unlikely that Craft International, a private for-profit enterprise founded by the late ace Navy Seal sniper Chris Kyle, would have “hired” itself to police the Marathon gratis, it seems pretty clear that we had rent-a-special forces-soldier people, hired by some agency, at the scene of the bombing ahead of the bombing.

And we have no reporting on this in the mainstream corporate media.

Why? I have no answer to that.

I did write to Andrea Estes, the lead writer of the Globe’s piece on police security planning mentioned above, who is described in her bio on the Globe’s website staff page as an “investigative reporter specializing in government accountability.”

I called and left a message on her phone, and sent her an email, asking if she had looked into the Craft Security personnel, to see who hired them, what they were doing at the race finish line, and why they appeared be carrying radiation detectors. She has so far not responded to my request for information and assistance concerning anything she had done or learned about this, or whether she had looked into it at all.

Certainly there is a big accountability question. A bunch of them actually. Here are a few:

  • If Craft International people were hired, who hired them and why?
  • If it was the Boston Police or the FBI that hired them, why won’t they just say so? Simply hiring outside security help should not be a secret, and could in no way affect the investigation into the bombing and the captured suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, so why the secrecy about that? Given all the police presence, and the size of the FBI’s Boston division, why did they need those extra guys from a private rent-a-soldier firm?
  • If it was not the Boston Police or the FBI, what agency did hire the company, and why?
  • If it was the state’s Homeland Security Dept. or or the state Executive Office of Public Safety, or perhaps more likely, the US Department of Homeland Security, did they notify the FBI that they had done so, and tell the agency what had prompted them to do this?
  • The big overarching question when it comes to who hired Craft International is, what possible gain in security could have been achieved by adding what appears to be seven guys (or perhaps a few more who didn’t appear in photos) from a private security firm when the Boston Police had in place over 1000 armed security people from their office and the National Guard, and when, as became evident immediately after the bombs went off, a large number of FBI personnel were also on hand?

Unless, of course, the Craft Security people were aware of something that we, the public, including the race participants and spectators, and perhaps even the police and FBI, were not aware of.

Transparency is critical to accountability. At this point, it is clear that we have had a massive failure of the national security state. Despite the fact that the FBI was aware of concerns about Tarmelan Tsarnaev, and the fact that the CIA had him on a watch list, he appears to have been able to work on line to learn how to build a powerful homemade bomb, to obtain the materials, including a substantial quantity of black powder, to build a number of them, and, allegedly with the help of his younger brother Dzhokhar, to place them near the finish line and detonate two of them, killing three people and injuring as many as 200. That’s a huge intelligence fail.

It would be an even bigger fail if it turns out that some agency had awareness of a credible threat and that it hired Craft International personnel to prevent it. We clearly need to know, and have a right to demand to know, who hired those men and why. After all, at a minimum, on the face of things, they did an abysmal job of preventing a bombing right in front of their supposedly well-trained noses.

And of course, as I wrote earlier, there is also another question, which is really disturbing: The image of the exploded backpack released by the FBI and identified as the remains of the pack that was carrying one of the two pressure-cooker bombs, prominently displays a white square on a black background. This is not a doctored photograph; it’s the photograph that was released by the FBI. There are also at least two photos depicting one of the Craft International men who is wearing a black backpack identical to several of the other Craft International personnel. The same white square is also visible on the top of his pack.

There does not appear to be any such white marking — square or otherwise — on the top of the black backpack worn by Tarmelan Tsarnaev, as observed in several security photos taken of him (Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was shown carrying a smaller white or light-colored pack, slung over one shoulder). Check out the images below of Tarmelan, the exploded bag and the Craft International character:

I am not drawing any conclusions from any of this, but I will say that when government agencies at all levels and a private contracting firm are all this obtuse and secretive (and in some cases even deceptive) about what should be a simple question — who hired these men? — my suspicions are aroused.

Somebody’s clearly hiding something.

And by the way, why aren’t the mainstream media asking about this? Are corporate media journalists so intimidated about being labeled “conspiracy nuts” that they can’t do their jobs? At a minimum, this goes to the question of accountability. It also goes to the question of inter-agency communication or lack of it. And given what we know about how many times the FBI has been an active encourager and enabler of terror plots which it later thwarts and claims credit for preventing, there’s the question, too of potential official culpability. Furthermore, when an horrific incident like this is used to justify such new threats to our Constitutional freedom as an unprecedented martial law-style lockdown of an entire 1-million-person metropolitan area and a precedent-setting deliberately Miranda-free, attorney-free interrogation of a hospitalized, gravely wounded and sedated suspect, it is critical that the whole story be told, not just the official one. Continue reading »

Apr 282013
 

Russia Today

The mother of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, Zubeidat Tsarnaev, had been added to a federal terrorism database about 18 months before the attack, according to US officials. The news comes after she accused US police of murdering her son.

The CIA reportedly put Zubeidat on the classified Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment database (TIDE) at the same time that her 26-year-old son Tamerlan was added.

During a Thursday news conference in Russia, Zubeidat and her husband Anzor said their children were innocent, and refused to accept the story pieced together by the authorities.

The suspects’ mother stated that in the days after the Boston bombing, she had seen video footage on the internet appearing to show Tamerlan alive and being put into a police car naked – presumably stripped to check for explosives. The next day, she said she saw pictures of his dead body.

When speaking about the images, she said her son was “Killed, truly killed.”

“I wanted to scream, to scream to the whole world: ‘What did you do? What have you done with my son? He was alive. Why did they need to kill him? Why not send him to Guantanamo or whatever. Why did they kill him? Why did they have to kill him? They got him alive. He was in their hands,” she said.

But police told Business Insider that the naked man was not Tamerlan. According to authorities, Tamerlan was killed in a shootout with police before being run over by his brother, Dzhokhar, who was fleeing the scene in an SUV.

Three people were killed and more than 260 injured when two bombs detonated at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013.

Investigators survey the site of a bomb blast on Boylston Street a day after two explosions hit the Boston Marathon in Boston, Massachusetts April 16, 2013. (Reuters / Adrees Latif)

Investigators survey the site of a bomb blast on Boylston Street a day after two explosions hit the Boston Marathon in Boston, Massachusetts April 16, 2013. (Reuters / Adrees Latif)

Seized as evidence

The boat later used as a hiding place by Dzhokhar has meanwhile been moved to an evidence storage facility, the FBI said on Saturday.

Nineteen-year-old Dzhokhar is believed to have hid in the boat for nearly a day while police took part in one of the largest manhunts in US history.

The entire Boston metropolitan area was on lockdown as police searched for Dzhokhar following a deadly shootout which allegedly killed his brother Tamerlan. Dzhokhar was eventually found inside the boat in Watertown, Massachusetts after the lockdown was lifted.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, is searched by law enforcement officers in this handout photo provided by the Massachusetts State Police in Watertown, Massachusetts, April 19, 2013. (Reuters)

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, is searched by law enforcement officers in this handout photo provided by the Massachusetts State Police in Watertown, Massachusetts, April 19, 2013. (Reuters)

After being locked in his home for hours, the owner of the boat ventured into his backyard. He then noticed a rip in the tarp that covered his boat and saw blood on the boat. Upon lifting the tarp, he found a man covered in blood and immediately called authorities.

Dzhokar then was arrested and taken to a civilian hospital. He was transferred to a federal medical detention center in central Massachusetts on Friday.

Dzhokhar was interrogated in his hospital room Sunday and Monday over a period of 16 hours without being read his rights to remain silent and have an attorney present, officials told AP. He immediately stopped talking after a magistrate judge and a representative from the US Attorney’s office entered his room and gave him his Miranda warning.

Before being read his rights, the 19-year-old admitted his role in the attacks and told authorities that his older brother Tamerlan was the mastermind behind the bombings. He said that he was only recently recruited to be a part of the attacks.

It was not clear whether the confession would be admissible in a criminal trial, since it came before he was read his Miranda rights.

Dzhokhar has been charged with one count of using a weapon of mass destruction and one count of malicious destruction of property. The charges came after the White House decided against treating Dzhokhar as an enemy combatant.

The Justice Department released a statement indicating that the charges could carry the death penalty or life in prison.

A man is stripped of his clothing and loaded into a police vehicle in Watertown, Massachusetts. (A screen shot from youtube video user@G4ViralVideos)

A man is stripped of his clothing and loaded into a police vehicle in Watertown, Massachusetts. (A screen shot from youtube video user@G4ViralVideos)

Location of laptops

In an effort to discover the motives behind the deadly attacks, FBI investigators picked through a New Bedford, Massachusetts landfill on Friday, hoping to recover laptop computers that belonged to the Boston Marathon bombing suspects.

The lead to search the landfill came after police interviewed two men from Khazakhstan who knew the terror suspects, law enforcement sources told ABC News under the condition of anonymity. The two men reportedly tipped officers to the possible location of the suspects’ laptops.

The Tsarnaev brothers are believed to have visited the men’s apartment in New Bedford, Massachusetts after the bombing. Police sources said that a cell phone believed to have belonged to Tamerlan was found in the apartment.

However, the FBI has declined to share whether they were looking for laptops at the landfill, or what was discovered there.

“We were seeking evidence but we are not commenting on the nature of what was being sought or what was found,”
Eimiller said. “We can confirm that we were there Thursday, Friday and left yesterday.”

The search for clues is almost certain to continue for the foreseeable future. A federal law enforcement official told AP on Friday that the FBI was gathering evidence regarding “everything imaginable.” Continue reading »

Apr 252013
 

Willy Loman
Scott Creighton

UPDATE April 24: Boston Bombing: Who Says it Had to be Two Men? Who Says they Had to be Young?

UPDATE April 23rd: Boston Bombing: Newly “Enhanced” Photos of the “Shootout” bring the influence peddlers out on Reddit

You don’t need conspiracy theorists. Just take the Feds at their word and you’ll see it.

If you believe the official story of what happened on April 15th at the finish-line of the Boston Marathon, then you have to know that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is innocent of the charges leveled against him. You cannot avoid it.

According to the new official story (remember the “Bag Men” story that was fed to the New York Post by officials?) Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev went down to the finish-line of the Boston marathon carrying bombs in their backpacks and planted them in two locations about a block apart and then hung around and watched the carnage unfold.

They claimed they had video proof of at least one of them, Dzhokhar, dropping his bomb and an eyewitness who saw Tamerlan drop his at the feet of the witness while making eye contact with him and walking away.

They then, according to the story they have video evidence of this, hung around, watched the carnage only to slowly walk away from the scene.

That is the official story. And that story proves Dzhokhar is innocent. And if Dzhokhar is innocent, more than likely, so is Tamerlan. Let me show you why.

 

1. Circumstantial but based on hard evidence

First of all, the Feds have produced neither of the two videos they claim to have showing 1. Dzhokhar planting a bomb and 2. them hanging out watching the aftermath then slowly walking away. In fact, the evidence we have suggests a totally different story. The new story about all of this drops any mention of those two videos down the memory hole.

The second thing to remember is the fact that the FBI pretended to need our help to identify the two men while the entire time their own local field offices had been in steady contact with the boys for at least two years. The FBI has come out since and admitted their involvement with the boys and several congressmen are asking how they “dropped the ball” on this one. The FBI is avoiding answering congress’ questions.

I have found evidence to suggest that they were in fact being handled by an FBI confidential informant and I believe that fact is likely to come out very soon. The congressmen are starting to ask for the FBI’s files on these boys. Family members, even the one trying to help the Feds, suggest that they were being manipulated by “mentors” which is standard operating procedure for the FBI’s domestic terrorism task force. In fact, it appears from the official photos of the boys, they were indeed waiting for quite a while in front of a restaurant in the area to meet someone… someone who told them to be there. Someone who deliberately put them in the wrong place at the right time.

As damning as all of this is, the lies, the connections to the boys, the artifice of not knowing who they were, their being brought there by someone… as damning as it is, it’s primarily circumstantial. Though that is not to say it does not qualify as potential evidence in a court of law, it is not hard physical evidence of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s innocence.

Not to worry, the official story itself provides that.

2. Hard evidence

The new narrative is that one of the victims, Jeff Bauman, identified the older brother Tamerlan as being the one who placed his bomb down at Jeff’s feet while making eye contact with him and then he walked away. He said he had a dark ball cap and glasses and that is Tamerlan in the photos.

Honestly, that story is ripe with wrong. Were anyone to do that to you would you just stand there next to the backpack waiting to see what happened? I doubt it. But take him at his word (and remember, the FBI has teams trained to illicit the kinds of witness statements they need). And also remember, they claim this information came to them on Wednesday, while Jeff was still heavily drugged.

But let’s take them at their word. After all, it is their official story and thus the one some of the people in this country accept as the gospel.

Jeff was injured in the first explosion, the one closest to the finish line. Of that there is no question. That means the bag that was dropped there was Tamerlan’s bag. Let’s look at the evidence.

First, their bags respectively – Tamerlan has a darker colored bag while his younger brother is carrying a light grey bag. Also notice the color of Tamerlan’s pants. This will be important later trust me.

bag 13

If you take the FBI’s recounting of Jeff’s statement at face value, then that means
Tamerlan’s bag is this one, from the official evidence of the crime scene:
Continue reading »