Tag Archive: Osama bin Laden


What Is The Real Agenda Of The American Police State? — Paul Craig Roberts

 

Paul Craig Roberts

In my last column I emphasized that it was important for American citizens to demand to know what the real agendas are behind the wars of choice by the Bush and Obama regimes. These are major long term wars each lasting two to three times as long as World War II.

Forbes reports that one million US soldiers have been injured in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. http://www.forbes.com/sites/rebeccaruiz/2013/11/04/report-a-million-veterans-injured-in-iraq-afghanistan-wars/

RT reports that the cost of keeping each US soldier in Afghanistan has risen from $1.3 million per soldier to $2.1 million per soldier. http://rt.com/usa/us-afghanistan-pentagon-troops-budget-721/

Matthew J. Nasuti reports in the Kabul Press that it cost US taxpayers $50 million to kill one Taliban soldier. That means it cost $1 billion to kill 20 Taliban fighters. http://kabulpress.org/my/spip.php?article32304 This is a war that can be won only at the cost of the total bankruptcy of the United States.

Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes have estimated that the current out-of-pocket and already incurred future costs of the Afghan and Iraq wars is at least $6 trillion.

In other words, it is the cost of these two wars that explain the explosion of the US public debt and the economic and political problems associated with this large debt.

What has America gained in return for $6 trillion and one million injured soldiers, many very severely?

In Iraq there is now an Islamist Shia regime allied with Iran in place of a secular Sunni regime that was an enemy of Iran, one as dictatorial as the other, presiding over war ruins, ongoing violence as high as during the attempted US occupation, and extraordinary birth defects from the toxic substances associated with the US invasion and occupation.

In Afghanistan there is an undefeated and apparently undefeatable Taliban and a revived drug trade that is flooding the Western world with drugs.

The icing on these Bush and Obama “successes” are demands from around the world that Americans and former British PM Tony Blair be held accountable for their war crimes. Certainly, Washington’s reputation has plummeted as a result of these two wars. No governments anywhere are any longer sufficiently gullible as to believe anything that Washington says.

These are huge costs for wars for which we have no explanation.

The Bush/Obama regimes have come up with various cover stories: a “war on terror,”
“we have to kill them over there before they come over here,” “weapons of mass destruction,” revenge for 9/11, Osama bin Laden (who died of his illnesses in December 2001 as was widely reported at the time).

 

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breakingtheset

Published on Sep 30, 2013

Abby Martin gives props to world renowned journalist Seymour Hersh, for calling out the abysmal failure of the corporate media in the US, saying that the MSM should fire 90 percent of its reporters and that “not one word” of the bin laden death narrative is true.

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Seymour Hersh on Obama, NSA and the ‘pathetic’ American media

Pulitzer Prize winner explains how to fix journalism, saying press should ‘fire 90% of editors and promote ones you can’t control’

Seymour Hersh

Seymour Hersh exposed the My Lai massacre during the Vietnam war, for which he won the Pulitzer Prize. Photograph: Wally McNamee/Corbis

Seymour Hersh has got some extreme ideas on how to fix journalism – close down the news bureaus of NBC and ABC, sack 90% of editors in publishing and get back to the fundamental job of journalists which, he says, is to be an outsider.

It doesn’t take much to fire up Hersh, the investigative journalist who has been the nemesis of US presidents since the 1960s and who was once described by the Republican party as “the closest thing American journalism has to a terrorist”.

He is angry about the timidity of journalists in America, their failure to challenge the White House and be an unpopular messenger of truth.

Don’t even get him started on the New York Times which, he says, spends “so much more time carrying water for Obama than I ever thought they would” – or the death of Osama bin Laden. “Nothing’s been done about that story, it’s one big lie, not one word of it is true,” he says of the dramatic US Navy Seals raid in 2011.

Hersh is writing a book about national security and has devoted a chapter to the bin Laden killing. He says a recent report put out by an “independent” Pakistani commission about life in the Abottabad compound in which Bin Laden was holed up would not stand up to scrutiny. “The Pakistanis put out a report, don’t get me going on it. Let’s put it this way, it was done with considerable American input. It’s a bullshit report,” he says hinting of revelations to come in his book.

The Obama administration lies systematically, he claims, yet none of the leviathans of American media, the TV networks or big print titles, challenge him.

“It’s pathetic, they are more than obsequious, they are afraid to pick on this guy [Obama],” he declares in an interview with the Guardian.

“It used to be when you were in a situation when something very dramatic happened, the president and the minions around the president had control of the narrative, you would pretty much know they would do the best they could to tell the story straight. Now that doesn’t happen any more. Now they take advantage of something like that and they work out how to re-elect the president.

He isn’t even sure if the recent revelations about the depth and breadth of surveillance by the National Security Agency will have a lasting effect.

Snowden changed the debate on surveillance

He is certain that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden “changed the whole nature of the debate” about surveillance. Hersh says he and other journalists had written about surveillance, but Snowden was significant because he provided documentary evidence – although he is sceptical about whether the revelations will change the US government’s policy.

“Duncan Campbell [the British investigative journalist who broke the Zircon cover-up story], James Bamford [US journalist] and Julian Assange and me and the New Yorker, we’ve all written the notion there’s constant surveillance, but he [Snowden] produced a document and that changed the whole nature of the debate, it’s real now,” Hersh says.

“Editors love documents. Chicken-shit editors who wouldn’t touch stories like that, they love documents, so he changed the whole ball game,” he adds, before qualifying his remarks.

“But I don’t know if it’s going to mean anything in the long [run] because the polls I see in America – the president can still say to voters ‘al-Qaida, al-Qaida’ and the public will vote two to one for this kind of surveillance, which is so idiotic,” he says.

Holding court to a packed audience at City University in London’s summer school on investigative journalism, 76-year-old Hersh is on full throttle, a whirlwind of amazing stories of how journalism used to be; how he exposed the My Lai massacre in Vietnam, how he got the Abu Ghraib pictures of American soldiers brutalising Iraqi prisoners, and what he thinks of Edward Snowden.

Hope of redemption

Despite his concern about the timidity of journalism he believes the trade still offers hope of redemption.

“I have this sort of heuristic view that journalism, we possibly offer hope because the world is clearly run by total nincompoops more than ever … Not that journalism is always wonderful, it’s not, but at least we offer some way out, some integrity.”

His story of how he uncovered the My Lai atrocity is one of old-fashioned shoe-leather journalism and doggedness. Back in 1969, he got a tip about a 26-year-old platoon leader, William Calley, who had been charged by the army with alleged mass murder.

Instead of picking up the phone to a press officer, he got into his car and started looking for him in the army camp of Fort Benning in Georgia, where he heard he had been detained. From door to door he searched the vast compound, sometimes blagging his way, marching up to the reception, slamming his fist on the table and shouting: “Sergeant, I want Calley out now.”

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US Al Qaeda Founders/Controllers Exposed

US Ties to Al Qaeda Official

Former al-Qaeda ringleader Osama bin Laden

Reputed former al-Qaeda ringleader Osama bin Laden

By Gordon Duff and Press TV

Al-Qaeda was established under the authority of President Reagan on March 27, 1985, with National Security Directive 166. This established a broad cover organization that could engage in arms and financial transactions otherwise prohibited by US law.”

High-level sources inside America’s intelligence community are totally flabbergasted by recent administration policies, particularly regarding Syria. The consensus is that the Obama administration is operating “totally blind” and doesn’t care.

Top policy advisors opposed to the new Russian-Iranian alliance, on advice from Israel, are shifting America’s position in Syria’s now “three-sided” foreign-backed insurgency.

Israeli Ambassador to Washington Michael Oren, acting as de facto White House spokesman, explains why the Obama administration has now abandoned its support of moderate forces for those of al-Qaeda.

From the Jerusalem Post:

“’Tehran-Damascus-Beirut arc is the greatest danger,’ says outgoing Israeli envoy to US Michael Oren.

’Bad guys’ backed by Iran are worse for Israel than ‘bad guys’ who are not supported by the Islamic Republic … the initial message about the Syrian issue was that we always wanted [President] Bashar Assad to go, we always preferred the bad guys who weren’t backed by Iran to the bad guys who were backed by Iran,’ he said.

This was the case, he said, even if the other ‘bad guys’ were affiliated to al-Qaida.”

The fact is al-Qaeda militants are actively wiping out moderate rebel factions fighting the Assad regime, now clearly with Israeli backing. That means another “arc” exists: Tel Aviv, al-Qaeda and the globalist cabal of neocons, Zionists and financial criminals.

Assisting them every step of the way is the controlled corporate media and the governments they have bought and blackmailed.

Wikipedia claims al-Qaeda was founded by Osama bin Laden while in Peshawar, Pakistan during the late 1980s. This is an outrageous fiction.

Al-Qaeda was established under the authority of President Reagan on March 27, 1985, with National Security Directive 166. This established a broad cover organization that could engage in arms and financial transactions otherwise prohibited by US law.

It was never intended as a vehicle for false-flag terrorism. That would come later. It was a cover operation meant to allow clandestine operations that required a high degree of deniability.

Al-Qaeda is an organization totally under the control of the intelligence agencies of the US, Israel, Britain and France. The real foundation of al-Qaeda and its oversight, its very real hierarchy, is outlined below.

A similar organization had been formed to deal with the danger of Soviet expansionism in Europe. It was called “Gladio.” Eventually, Gladio became a very real terror organization, operating in Europe for over a decade.

Chosen to head that what we now call “Al Qaeda” was Osama bin Laden or “Colonel Tim Osman,” as he was known.

Bin Laden worked directly with White House national security advisors and the Central Intelligence Agency. From his headquarters in Islamabad and Peshawar, bin Laden coordinated American activities in Afghanistan and across the Islamic world.

In August 1989, bin Laden met with White House intelligence advisor Lee Wanta and CIA station Chief Jimmie Chee to arrange the repatriation of the last 116 Stinger missiles in inventory in Pakistan.

Details and transcripts of that meeting are available, a meeting held in English.

In early 1990, bin Laden, suffering from advanced kidney disease, was flown to an American facility in the Persian Gulf.

From there, bin Laden flew to Los Angeles, landing in the Ontario airport, met by Albert Hakim, representing President Bush (41), Ollie North (free on appeal bond), Admiral William Dickie, attorney Glenn Peglau and General Jack Singlaub, one of the founders of the CIA.

Hakim was the personal representative of President Bush and in overall charge of the project. “Bud” McFarlane, an Iran-Contra figure pardoned by President Bush in 1992, was also a part of the group.

Bin Laden then left Los Angeles for Washington DC. There he stayed in the Mayflower Hotel. Meetings were held at the Metropolitan Club in Washington. Attorney Glenn Peglau stayed at the Metropolitan.

While there, Peglau’s room was broken into and “items” removed.

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Soldier faces charge of ‘aiding the enemy’ by downloading and leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents

Bradley Manning

Bradley Manning faces a maximum sentence of life in military custody with no chance of parole. Photograph: Patrick Semansky/AP

The trial of Bradley Manning, the US soldier who leaked a trove of state secrets to WikiLeaks, could set an ominous precedent that will chill freedom of speech and turn the internet into a danger zone, legal experts have warned.

Of the 21 counts faced by the army private on Monday, at his trial at Fort Meade in Maryland, by far the most serious is that he knowingly gave intelligence information to al-Qaida by transmitting hundreds of thousands of classified documents to the open information website WikiLeaks. The leaked disclosures were first published by the Guardian and allied international newspapers.

Manning is accused of “aiding the enemy”, in violation of Article 104 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. By indirectly unleashing a torrent of secrets onto the internet, the prosecution alleges, he in effect made it available to Osama bin Laden and his cohorts, for them to inflict injury on the US.

Laurence Tribe, a Harvard professor who is considered to be the foremost liberal authority on constitutional law in the US and who taught the subject to President Barack Obama, told the Guardian that the charge could set a worrying precedent. He said: “Charging any individual with the extremely grave offense of ‘aiding the enemy’ on the basis of nothing beyond the fact that the individual posted leaked information on the web and thereby ‘knowingly gave intelligence information’ to whoever could gain access to it there, does indeed seem to break dangerous new ground.”

Tribe, who advised the department of justice in Obama’s first term, added that the trial could have “far-reaching consequences for chilling freedom of speech and rendering the internet a hazardous environment, well beyond any demonstrable national security interest.”

“Aiding the enemy” carries the death penalty. Though the US government has indicated it will not seek that ultimate punishment, Manning still faces a maximum sentence of life in military custody with no chance of parole.

Daniel Ellsberg, who in 1971 was subjected to an aborted trial for leaking the Pentagon Papers on the Vietnam War to the New York Times, said that the Manning prosecution was far tougher than anything that he had endured.

“This is part of Obama’s overall policy of criminalising investigative reporting on national security,” he said. “If the government has its way, it will become very hard in future to expose official corruption or disclose information in the public interest other than leaks made by the administration itself.”

Manning’s trial, which is slated to last three months, opens against a backdrop of mounting unease about the increasingly aggressive stance the US government is taking against official leakers. The Obama administration has launched six prosecutions under the Espionage Act, twice as many as all previous presidencies combined, of which only Manning’s has gone to trial.

The Department of Justice is already under fire for its controversial secret seizures of phone records of Associated Press reporters and of a Fox News reporter, James Rosen, investigating North Korean nuclear tests.

bradley manning trial A demonstration in support of Bradley Manning at Fort Meade in Maryland. Photograph: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

 

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Activist Post

We have spoken to Nathan Fuller at Bradleymanning.org who has given us gracious permission to reprint his daily firsthand reports. Day 3 is posted below. We also will be adding commentary, as well as analyses from other sources to provide a constant update to what is happening in this essential trial for whistleblowers and their mission to reveal the truth.

At the heart of Day 3 was the inability of Bradley Manning’s supervisor, Captain Casey Fulton, to issue the same statement of authority as the U.S. government that WikiLeaks = Al Qaeda. In fact, she couldn’t mention WikiLeaks as a specific source at all, but only that social media was a known general hangout of America’s enemies. As Amy Davidson at The New Yorker, illustrates: social media, Google, Google Maps and other news outlets could easily be “aiding the enemy” in much the same way.

“The prosecution has specified Al Qaeda and one of its affiliates, as well as a third organization whose identity, also disturbingly, it classified. (Overclassification is one of the scandals of this story.) At what point could “enemy” mean anyone who doesn’t like us? Can it mean us ourselves, at moments when we think that something has gone wrong, and has to be exposed?”

The prosecutors intend to bring in a witness from the Navy Seals to testify that he found a published document from the WikiLeaks website in Osama Bin Laden’s compound in Abbotabad. But just how can one news agency, or public online forum control who their readers are and how can they avoid the government’s harassment if their readers are considered the “enemy” ? (Source)

Furthermore, it appears that some of what Manning was collating and preparing for distribution were specific assignments from his superiors and not a premeditated plot. This is fundamental in the government’s central “aiding the enemy” argument. Rather, it seems that Bradley Manning had been cited often by other intelligence analysts for his extraordinary natural abilities. As Fuller states below, that means it is likely that Manning “was simply doing his job” — and excelling at it. In short, he was working for the Army, not for WikiLeaks.

Many more essential details are provided by Nathan Fuller’s excellent coverage of this trial, as it enters Day 3, and will recess until the 10th. This trial will determine whether telling the truth should be punishable by life in prison. It is a determination that is guaranteed to affect us all.

Manning supervisor undercuts aspect of aiding the enemy charge: trial report, day 3

By Nathan Fuller, Bradley Manning Support Network. June 5, 2013.

On day 3 of Bradley Manning’s court martial, one of his supervisors didn’t mention WikiLeaks when asked about specific websites the military warned that the enemy might visit. Bradley’s fellow soldiers relayed that Iraq War Log documents didn’t reveal source names and that an Excel spreadsheet he created was done for intelligence work, not for WikiLeaks. Read reports from day 1 and day 2.

Captain Casey Fulton testified at the end of today’s Bradley Manning trial proceedings that there were no specific websites, other than social media sites, that intelligence analysts knew that America’s enemies visited. Capt. Fulton deployed to Iraq with Bradley in November 2009 and was in charge of Bradley’s intelligence section.

The government’s aiding the enemy charge relies on the claim that Bradley knew that giving intelligence to WikiLeaks meant giving it to Al Qaeda. Prosecutors have cited several times this Army Counterintelligence Special Report, which asks,

Will the Wikileaks.org Web site be used by FISS, foreign military services, foreign insurgents, or terrorist groups to collect sensitive or classified US Army information posted to the Wikileaks.org Web site?

But when defense lawyer David Coombs asked Capt. Fulton what websites the enemy was known to visit gathering intelligence, she merely said that it was general knowledge that the enemy goes to “all sorts” of websites. Pressed to name something specific, Capt. Fulton said that they were briefed on social media sites like Facebook, where people generally post lots of personal information, and Google and Google Maps. Once more Coombs asked if there were any specific websites that she and her fellow analysts had “actual knowledge” that the enemy visited, and Capt. Fulton said no.

Intelligence work for Army, not WikiLeaks

She also provided more information on an Excel spreadsheet that Bradley created as an analyst in Baghdad, which included all of the Significant Activities (SigActs) later released in the Iraq War Logs. The government has referred to this spreadsheet as an indication that Bradley was culling information and preparing it to be sent to WikiLeaks. But Capt. Fulton said that the spreadsheet was used for an intelligence analyst assignment: she had asked him to compile all SigActs from the entire Iraq War to discern any patterns and increases or decreases in violence throughout the war. Bradley was simply doing his job.

That testimony corroborates what we heard from other witnesses today. Chief Warrant Officer 3 Hondo Hack and Warrant Officer Kyle Balonek testified to Bradley’s exceptional organizational abilities and impressive work for such an inexperienced analyst.

CW3 Hack rarely saw Bradley since they had opposite work shifts, so he looked into the shared drive where analysts posted reports and files they were researching. He called Bradley’s folder perhaps the most organized he’d ever seen, providing far more detail than more experienced analysts.

That revelation came after government questioning that attempted to paint Bradley as neglectful of his duties, presenting an email from him to CW3 Hack providing the name of a high-value target several months after he started his work. Prosecutors admitted when prompted by Judge Denise Lind that they were trying to show a dereliction of duty, and Coombs recalled their effort to characterize him as working for WikiLeaks when he should have been doing his job.

But CW3 Hack told the defense that he was frustrated with the entire intelligence analyst squad, and didn’t expect Bradley, as a junior analyst, to provide “actionable” information and in fact expected more from his more senior colleagues.

War Log reports didn’t reveal source names

CW Balonek was one of those more experienced analysts, who worked in Bradley’s division. He testified about keeping classified information secret, since he witnessed Bradley’s signing of the Non-Disclosure Agreement vowing to protect sensitive documents. He told government lawyers that it wasn’t common practice for those in Iraq to look at Afghanistan SigActs or other files, but he told the defense that there wasn’t any provision that he knew of prohibiting it.

He gave more insight into what those SigActs or HUMINT (Human Intelligence) files contained. The SigActs typically provided the 5 Ws: who, what, when, where, and why an incident occurred, documenting basic information about incidents like IED attacks. Both types of files didn’t name U.S. sources by name—HUMINT reports cited sources by number, and SigActs would protect the source from identification as well. SigActs have some names, but those are witnesses, for example, to violent incidents, and not reliable sources with exact information.

Supervisor Showman’s conversations with Bradley

Specialist Jihrleah Showman was Bradley’s team leader at Ft. Drum before he deployed to Iraq, interacting with him daily. She testified with slight but visible disdain about their personal conversations, which she said typically involved “his topic of choosing,” and that he talked about social interests including “martini parties” in the D.C. area, having friends with influence in the Pentagon, and his interest in shopping.

She also said he liked to talk about politics, and that he would often debate with others about broad U.S. policy and that she found him “very political” and on the “extreme Democratic side,” responding affirmatively to Coombs’s phrasing.

When she oversaw him at Ft. Drum, most soldiers uploaded video games, movies, and music to their computers, which weren’t explicitly authorized but which she believed her superiors knew about. Bradley was so “fluent” with computers, she said, that she asked him to install the military chat client mIRC to her computer, and that he once mentioned that military portals’ passwords “weren’t complicated” and that he could always get through them.

Because the government moved through its witnesses so quickly, court is recessed for the week and will return on Monday, June 10.

You can donate to the Bradley Manning Defense Fund Here.
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PREVIOUS UPDATE:

As a part of today’s update, we are also including this new trailer released that includes various celebrities and well-respected media such as Chris Hedges and Matt Taibbi. “I am Bradley Manning.”

Nathan Fuller’s new report, as well as our previous update, are available below…

Bradley Manning’s InfoSec write-up never mentioned WikiLeaks: trial report, day 2

by Nathan Fuller, Bradley Manning Support Network. June 4, 2013.

Day 2 of Bradley Manning’s court martial covered his training in information security, his chats with Adrian Lamo, and the forensic investigation of his digital media. Day 1 report here.

Witnesses in Bradley Manning’s trial today testified about the hardware retrieved from Manning’s workstation and housing unit in Iraq, the process for examining forensics of that hardware, his training on classified information, and his online chats with hacker and informant Adrian Lamo.

The proceedings moved quickly – the military’s subject matter expert told us that the government is two days ahead of schedule – because the defense continues to stipulate to expected testimony, which allows the government to simply read what a witness would have testified to without the need for cross-examination. Bradley took responsibility for releasing documents to WikiLeaks in late February 2013, so the defense doesn’t contest much of the basic forensic information for those releases.

Manning’s PowerPoint on Information Security doesn’t mention WikiLeaks

In the first pretrial hearing in December 2011, when the government claimed that Bradley Manning knew that giving documents to WikiLeaks meant giving them to Al Qaeda, it often referred to a PowerPoint presentation that Bradley created while in Army training, implying if not stating outright that in the presentation Bradley mentioned WikiLeaks specifically as a site America’s enemies use to collect information.

But today we saw that PowerPoint, while the parties questioned Troy Moul, the instructor from Bradley’s intelligence analyst training, and nowhere did it mention WikiLeaks – it merely claims that adversaries use the Internet generally to harvest information about U.S. operations.

In fact, Moul admitted, “I had never even heard of the term WikiLeaks until I was informed [Bradley] had been arrested.”

Moul testified at greater length about the instruction Bradley received at Advanced Individual Training (AIT) before he became an intelligence analyst, including the potential damage releasing Secret information could cause and the Non-Disclosure Agreement he signed, vowing to keep classified information secret. But the government has to show that he knew that passing information to WikiLeaks meant he was indirectly passing documents to Al Qaeda. This PowerPoint clearly doesn’t make that connection. In yesterday’s opening arguments, the government discussed an Army Counterintelligence Special Report, which delves into whether WikiLeaks.org is used by adversarial organizations – but as Marcy Wheeler writes,

The report itself is actually ambiguous about whether or not our adversaries were using WikiLeaked data. It both presents it as a possibility that we didn’t currently have intelligence on, then presumes it.

Adrian Lamo confirms chat log comments, Manning’s humanist values

Computer hacker and government informant Adrian Lamo testified about his instant messages with Bradley Manning from late May 2010, which he turned over to the authorities, WIRED magazine, and the Washington Post, leading to Bradley’s arrest.

Both lines of questioning tracked opening arguments. Responding to prosecutor questions, Lamo said his chats with Manning were encrypted, that no one tampered with or manipulated them before he handed them over to Army CID, and that Manning discussed disclosing classified information and communicating with Julian Assange. Lamo frequently gave maximalist and formal responses to government questions – explaining for example that Facebook is a ‘very popular social media website where lots of people connect.’

In cross-examination, defense lawyer David Coombs reviewed several lines of chats that Lamo then confirmed. He recalled that Bradley was a humanist, someone who wanted to investigate the truth, and someone who wanted to disclose information for the public good. He acknowledged that Bradley never indicated an intention to help America’s enemies or intimated any anti-American sentiment.

Lamo was then permanently excused from testifying.

Evidentiary and intelligence analyst witnesses

 

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Jun 4, 2013 19:53

Photo Credit: ©RIA Novosti

Photo Credit: ©RIA Novosti

 

FORT MEADE, Md. (AFP) – The computer hacker who turned in Bradley Manning said Tuesday the tormented US soldier had never talked about helping al-Qaida after he leaked hundreds of thousands of classified documents.

On the second day of Manning’s court martial, witness Adrian Lamo agreed with a defense attorney’s portrait of a tortured soul who acted out of a desire to inform the public rather than to aid US enemies.

Under cross-examination from defense lawyer David Coombs, Lamo said that a highly emotional Manning was also in the grip of a sexual identity crisis, which made him fear for his life.

Military prosecutors allege that Manning — who admitted to leaking a vast cache of classified information to anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks between 2009 and 2010 — directly and knowingly aided al-Qaida through his actions.

However, Lamo said under questioning on Tuesday that the subject of helping America’s enemies had never arisen during his contacts with Manning.

Lamo engaged in online chats with Manning for six days between May 20 and May 26, 2010, shortly before the soldier was arrested.

Lamo, who answered many questions simply with a “Yes” or a “No”, told the hearing he had contacted police over his exchanges with Manning because he feared for the soldier’s life.

Asked if Manning had ever uttered “a word against the United States” or whether “he wanted to help the enemy,” Lamo replied: “Not in those words, no.”

Later Tuesday, a second witness, soldier Jose Anica, also said he had never heard Manning express anti-American sentiment.

“Did PFC Manning say anything anti-American to you?” Coombs asked Anica, who responded: “No sir.”

Lamo had earlier agreed with defense suggestions that Manning had been acting out of a sense of civic duty when he decided to leak the cache of secret files, and that Manning had been struggling with gender identity issues.

“He told you about his life, that he was struggling because of his gender identity issue? … He told you he made a huge mess?’ … He was emotionally fractured?” Coombs asked Lamo.

“He needed moral and emotional support? … He wondered if he didn’t get it he might end up killing himself? (That he was) feeling desperate?… A broken soul?… Honestly scared?”

Lamo — who was convicted in 2004 of unauthorized access to computers — said he suspected Manning contacted him because he was a known computer hacker and a supporter of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Defense League.

Lamo also confirmed Coombs’ statements that Manning had leaked the hundreds of thousands of incident reports from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and secret diplomatic cables out of a sincere desire to inform the public.

The U.S. government has portrayed the leaks as an act of betrayal that put lives at risk, while Manning’s supporters present him as a whistle-blower who gave the public a rare glimpse at the front lines of U.S. wars and inside the halls of powers where U.S. foreign policy is made and carried out.

Lamo also indicated that Manning had no interest in trying to sell information to countries such as Russia or China, but instead believed the information belonged in the public domain.

Lamo said Manning had admitted having contacts with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who condemned the court martial on Tuesday as a “show trial.”

Assange — who is holed up in the Ecuadoran embassy in London to avoid extradition to Sweden for questioning on sexual assault allegations — described the hearing as “a show of wasteful vengeance; a theatrical warning to people of conscience.”

“This is not justice; never could this be justice. The verdict was ordained long ago,” he wrote on the WikiLeaks site.

Rights activists meanwhile said the case hinged on the prosecution claim that Manning “aided” the enemy by releasing information to WikiLeaks.

“This trial is not about whether Manning leaked the documents to WikiLeaks; he’s already admitted that he did,” said Ben Wizner, of the American Civil Liberties Union.

“What’s really being tested is the government’s dangerous theory that leaking information to the press is equivalent to delivering it to the ‘enemy.'”

Manning’s trial at a military base outside Washington is expected to last 12 weeks. Some evidence will be given behind closed doors for national security reasons.

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Bin Laden raid member can be witness in Manning court-martial

Patrick Semansky/AP – Judge rules Bin Laden raid member can testify as part of prosecution’s effort to link al-Qaeda leader to material leaked by Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, pictured.

A military judge ruled Wednesday that a member of the team that raided Osama bin Laden’s compound would be allowed to testify at the court-martial of Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, part of the prosecution’s attempt to link the slain al-Qaeda leader to material leaked by the soldier.

Manning, who pleaded guilty to some charges last month, is scheduled to face a court-martial in June for leaking 700,000 documents and other materials to the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks.

Prosecutors, who have alleged that Manning’s actions damaged national security, say digital media found at bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan show that the terrorist leader received access to some of the WikiLeaks material through an associate.

Manning’s defense team has argued that evidence obtained from the raid was not relevant to the charges against Manning, which include aiding the enemy. But on Wednesday, Army Col. Denise Lind disagreed, ruling that the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the “enemy received” the material.

The witness, identified as “John Doe” and as a “DoD operator,” will testify in a closed session at an undisclosed location, Lind said, and will appear in “light disguise.”

It is presumed that the witness is a member of the Navy SEAL Team 6 that raided bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in May 2011. Only one member of the raid team has been publicly identified — Matt Bissonette, who was named shortly after publishing an account of the raid under a pseudonym.

 

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CIA Seizes Bin Laden’s Son-In-Law In Jordan And Takes Him To America

Agence France Presse and Michael Kelley | Mar. 7, 2013, 11:23 AM

bin laden son-in-law

AL-JAZEERA/AFP

Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law Sulaiman Abu Ghaith was seized by CIA agents and taken to the United States, Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) confirmed to the Associated Press today.

Abu Ghaith, the former spokesman of the Al-Qaeda network, was seized last month at a luxury hotel in Ankara after a tip-off from CIA and was held there by the police despite a US request for his extradition.

 

Turkish authorities deported Abu Ghaith to Jordan on March 1 to be sent back to Kuwait but he was seized by CIA agents in Jordan and taken to the United States, according to the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet.

 

King called it a “very significant victory” in the war on terror.

 

“Definitely, one by one, we are getting the top echelons of al-Qaeda,” King said. “I give the (Obama) administration credit for this: it’s steady and it’s unrelenting and it’s very successful.”

 

 

 

 

Published on Apr 18, 2012

Dir: Mareike Wegener, Germany, 80 min, 2011, Documentary
Brooklyn based artist Mark Lombardi created graphic artwork portraying the opaque global network of financial and political elites, including their…
http://www.brooklynfilmfestival.org/films/detail.asp?fid=1219

March 2000

Eight months before an idiot son of the Bush crime family “won” election for president…

A year before Osama bin Laden became famous for 9-11…

Mark Lombardi, who had just achieved a major breakthrough in his career as an artist, reportedly hanged himself in his Brooklyn studio.

His art form?

Drawing intricately detailed diagrams of the relationship between the Bush family and its allies, the Bin Laden family, and other global criminals.

If there are people who commit political murders and then stage them to look like suicides – and there are – don’t you think that it’s quite a coincidence than Aaron Swartz – a very positive, resourceful, and intelligent young man who was co-owner of a major social media network – died the very same way?

It’s all just a big coincidence.’

BrassCheckTV

 

 

 

Mark Lombardi and the Ecstasy of Conspiracy


Detail, Mark Lombardi, George W. Bush, Harken Energy, and Jackson Stephens, ca. 1979-90 (5th version), 1999

With the 40th anniversary of the assassination of JFK freshly behind us, our abiding romance with conspiracy theories seems more ardent than ever. And one of the most remarkable expressions of that romance is on view at The Drawing Center in New York, “Global Networks,” an exhibition of the work of Mark Lombardi. In an age where we all dimly sense that The Truth Is Out There, Lombardi’s extraordinary drawings aim to provide all the answers.

Although Lombardi’s work has combined the mesmerizing detail of the engineering diagram and the obsessive annotation of the outsider artist, the man was neither scientist nor madman. Armed with a BA in art history, he began as a researcher and archivist in the Houston fine arts community with a passing interest in corporate scandal, financial malfeasance, and the hidden web of connections that seemed to connect, for instance, the Mafia, the Vatican bank, and the 1980’s savings and loan debacle. His initial explorations were narrative, but in 1993 he made the discovery that some kinds of information are best expressed diagrammatically.

The resulting body of work must be seen to be believed — an admittedly oxymoronic endorsement of subject matter of such supreme skepticism. Lombardi’s delicate tracings, mostly in black pencil with the occasional red accent, cover enormous sheets of paper (many over four feet high and eight feet long), mapping the deliriously Byzantine relationships of, say, Oliver North, Lake Resources of Panama, and the Iran-Contra operation, or Global International Airways and the Indian Springs State Bank of Kansas City. Because the work visualizes connections rather than causality, Lombardi was able to take the same liberties as Harry Beck’s 1933 map for the London Underground, freely arranging the players to create gorgeous patterns: swirling spheres, hopscotching arcs, wheels within wheels.

 

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Ian Cobain
Information Clearing House
Fri, 25 Jan 2013 11:04 CST

The following is an excerpt from A Secret History of Torture (Counterpoint Press, 2012)

Two days after the 9/11 attacks, during a meeting of Bush’s closest advisers, Cofer Black declared the country’s enemies must be left with ‘flies walking across their eyeballs’. It was an image of death so striking that Black became known among the President’s inner circle as ‘the flies on the eyeballs guy’. Unlike its allies – the UK, France, Spain and Israel – the US had little experience of serious terrorist attacks on its own territory, nor any understanding of the need for a patient response. Bush was impressed by Black. Colin Powell, the Secretary of State, could see that the President wanted to kill somebody. The problem, as successive attorneys general had warned one president after another, was that they did not enjoy unfettered powers of life and death over the nation’s enemies. The CIA had been banned from carrying out assassinations since 1976.

The President turned to his Department of Defense and found that it had no cogent, off-the-shelf plan for responding to an attack of this nature on the United States. The CIA, on the other hand, did have something in its arsenal: it had the rendition program.

Since 1987, the CIA had been quietly apprehending terrorists and ‘rendering’ them to the US for prosecution, without any regard for lawful extradition processes. In 1995, President Bill Clinton – apparently with the full encouragement of his vice-president, Al Gore – agreed that a number of terrorists could be taken to a third country, including countries known to use torture, a process that would come to be known as extraordinary rendition.

Mike Scheuer, the CIA officer who started that programme, faced few objections from Clinton’s national security advisers when he began taking prisoners to Egypt, where they could be interrogated under torture. ‘They just didn’t want to know what we were doing,’ he says.

Before 9/11, however, there were limits. In 1998, for example, the CIA had drawn up a plan to kidnap Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan and take him to Egypt. A shipping container was installed inside a Hercules aircraft and inside that was bolted a dentist’s chair fitted with restraints. The CIA were all ready to go when, at the last moment, the FBI persuaded Clinton’s attorney general, Janet Reno, that bin Laden’s inevitable death at the hands of the Egyptians would be an act of murder and that US officials would be responsible. Reno vetoed the plan.

By 13 September, with a still-unknown number of Americans dead and the President wanting action, all such legal squeamishness had vanished. President Bush and Dick Cheney both believed al-Qaida had succeeded because government lawyers had been expecting the CIA to do its job with one hand tied behind its back. Bush said as much to his attorney general, John Ashcroft, when he warned him: ‘Don’t ever let this happen again.’ So when the head of the FBI, Robert Mueller, went to brief the President a few days after 9/11 and began to talk of the need to gather evidence for future prosecutions, he was promptly silenced by Ashcroft. Prosecutions were beside the point, Ashcroft said. All that mattered was stopping another attack.

That night, Cofer Black locked himself away at his office at Langley and within five days had drawn up plans for the CIA’s response. It would entail a vast expansion of the rendition programme. Hundreds of al-Qaida suspects would be tracked down and abducted from their homes and hiding places in eighty different countries. The agency would decide who was to be killed and who was to be kept alive in a network of secret prisons, outside the US, where they would be systematically tormented until every one of their secrets had been delivered up. The United States had been blindsided by al-Qaida on 9/11 and that situation would not be permitted to occur a second time.

Black’s plan was presented to the President and his war cabinet in a series of meetings during the days after the attacks. On Monday 17 September, Bush signed off the paperwork: with a stroke of his pen the CIA was granted the power of life and death over al-Qaida suspects and could arrange for men to be detained and tortured indefinitely. All this, Bush later said, was to remain invisible.

A few hours afterwards there was a brief glimpse of the manner in which the United States would disregard the restraints of international law when responding to the attacks. Speaking at a press conference, Bush said: ‘There’s an old poster out West that says, “Wanted: Dead or Alive.”‘ The President then checked himself before saying that those responsible for the murderous attacks should be brought to justice.

 

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brennan

  • John Brennan is behind programme that has carried out over 300 remote strikes against terrorist targets, killing some 2,500 people
  • Drawn fire from Democrats for connection to ‘torture’ techniques such as waterboarding under Bush administration
  • Also criticised for wrongly stating bin Laden was armed and had used his wife as a human shield in a briefing following the historic SEAL Team Six raid
  • Nominated after David Petraeus quit following revelations of his clandestine affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell

By Toby Harnden In Washington

Daily  Mail Online

President Obama today nominated the man who masterminded the expansion of the hugely controversial drone programme as the new director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

John Brennan, 57, the current head of counter-terrorism, has also provoked ire on the Left because of his connection during the Bush administration, when he was a senior CIA officer, to ‘Enhanced Interrogation Techniques’ such as water-boarding, which many regard as torture.

Despite past controversies, the president today praised him as one of the nation’s most skilled and respected intelligence professionals while announcing his nomination.

‘In John Brennan, the men and women of the CIA will have the leadership of one of our nation’s most skilled and respected intelligence professionals,’ Obama said at the White House.

Praise: Despite his controversial past, Obama set out his respect for John Brennan at a press conference today as one of America’s most talented intelligence officials
protectSafe hands: Obama announced the nomination of Brennan alongside that of Chuck Hagel (second left) for defense Secretary in the East Room of the White House. Also pictured are outgoing Pentagon chief Leon Panetta, left, and acting director of the CIA Michael Morell, right.

Alluding to the drone strike programme, Obama said: ‘Think about the results. More al-Qaeda leaders and commanders have been removed from the battlefield than at any time since 9/11.’

He added: ‘John is legendary even in the White House for working hard,” Obama said. “He is one of the hardest working public servants I have ever seen.’

Obama picked Brennan over Michael Morrell, the acting CIA chief, who stood alongside Brennan and the president during  the anouncement.

He had intended to nominate Brennan for the CIA post in 2009 but changed his mind following opposition from Democrats.

Instead, Brennan became his top counter-terrorism adviser in the White House and went on to play a key role in the killing of Osama bin Laden.Brennan angered many on the Right and some senior Obama administration officials, most notably Robert Gates, the then Pentagon chief, by delivering a briefing about bin Laden’s death that contained significant inaccuracies.

Brennan suggested to reporters that bin Laden had been armed and had used a wife as a human shield – explosive details that spawned  headlines worldwide but later turned out to have been wrong.

drone

Controversial: Brennan was in charge of setting up the drone program that has overseen 300 remote strikes against terrorist targets, killing some 2,500 people

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