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Friday, April 24, 2009

USA Torture - MUST READ (or be a Nazi sympathizer!)

Who Authorized The Torture of Abu Zubaydah?

by Andy Worthington, April 24, 2009

For the defendants of the use of torture by U.S. forces — still led by former Vice President Dick Cheney — this has been a rocky few weeks, with the publication, in swift succession, of the leaked report by the International Committee of the Red Cross (PDF), based on interviews with the 14 “high-value detainees” transferred to Guantánamo from secret CIA prisons in September 2006, which concluded that their treatment “constituted torture” (and was accompanied by two detailed articles by Mark Danner for the New York Review of Books), the release, by the Justice Department, of four memos issued by the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) in 2002 and 2005, which purported to justify the use of torture by the CIA, and the release of a 231-page investigation into detainee abuse conducted by the Senate Armed Services Committee (PDF).

The publication of the full Senate Committee report was delayed for four months, subject to wrangling over proposed redactions, but the Executive Summary, published last December, had already successfully demolished the Bush administration’s claims that detainee abuse could be blamed on “a few bad apples,” and, instead, blamed it on senior officials who, with the slippery exception of Dick Cheney, included George W. Bush, former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney’s chief of staff David Addington, former Pentagon General Counsel William J. Haynes II, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Richard Myers, former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, former Justice Department legal adviser John Yoo, former Guantánamo commanders Maj. Gen. Michael Dunlavey and Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, and Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the former commander of coalition forces in Iraq.

Much of the fallout from the release of these memos and reports has, understandably, focused on the inadequacy of the legal advice offered to the CIA for its “high-value detainee” program by the OLC, whose lawyers have the unique responsibility of interpreting the law as it relates to the powers of the executive branch, and whose advice, therefore, provided the Bush administration with what it regarded as a “golden shield,” which would prevent senior officials from being prosecuted for war crimes. However, if it can be shown that the OLC’s advice was not only inadequate, but also tailored to specific requests from senior officials, then it may be that the “golden shield” will turn to dust.

This threat to the “golden shield” probably explain why Dick Cheney’s scaremongering has been shriller than usual in the last few weeks, but what has largely been overlooked to date is another question that poses even weightier challenges for the former administration: if the use of torture techniques on Abu Zubaydah, the first supposedly significant “high-value detainee” captured by the US (on March 28, 2002), was authorized by two OLC memos issued on August 1, 2002, then who authorized the torture to which he was subjected in the 18 weeks between his capture and the moment that Jay S. Bybee, the head of the OLC, added his signature to the OLC memos?

It’s clear that the major reason this question has been overlooked is because, as the ICRC report reveals, Zubaydah was not subjected to waterboarding (an ancient torture technique that involves controlled drowning) until after the memo was issued, but what is also apparent is that the treatment to which he was subjected before the waterboard was introduced also “constituted torture.”

Zubaydah was severely wounded during his capture in Faisalabad, Pakistan, to the extent that, as President Bush explained in a press conference in September 2006, shortly after Zubaydah and 13 other “high-value detainees” had been transferred to Guantánamo from secret CIA prisons, “he survived only because of the medical care arranged by the CIA.” We don’t know if there is any truth to the allegation, made by Ron Suskind in his 2006 book The One Percent Doctrine, that medication was only administered in exchange for his cooperation (it seems likely, but has been officially denied), but we do know, from James Risen’s book State of War, that when CIA director George Tenet told the President that Zubaydah had been put on pain medication to deal with the injuries he sustained during capture, Bush asked Tenet, “Who authorized putting him on pain medication?” which prompted Risen to wonder whether the President was “implicitly encouraging” Tenet to order the harsh treatment of a prisoner “without the paper trail that would have come from a written presidential authorization.”

We also know that, shortly after his capture, Zubaydah was flown to Thailand, to a secret underground prison provided by the Thai government, where, as a New York Times article in September 2006 explained, “he was stripped, held in an icy room and jarred by earsplittingly loud music — the genesis of practices later adopted by some within the military, and widely used by the Central Intelligence Agency in handling prominent terrorism suspects at secret overseas prisons.”

The details of his treatment, “based on accounts by former and current law enforcement and intelligence officials,” were even more shocking. We have become somewhat inured, over the years, to stories of prisoners deprived of sleep for disturbing long periods of time, in which the use of loud, non-stop music — in this case, the Red Hot Chili Peppers — played an integral part.

This in itself is unacceptable, as the use of music is not simply a matter of being forced to listen to the same song over and over again at ear-splitting volume, but is, instead, a component in a program of sleep deprivation and isolation designed to provoke a complete mental breakdown. One of the major reference points for the CIA in the 1950s, when it was deeply involved in investigating the efficacy of psychological torture techniques, was research conducted by Donald Hebb, a Canadian psychologist, who discovered that, “if subjects are confined without light, odor, sound, or any fixed references of time and place, very deep breakdowns can be provoked,” and that, within just 48 hours, those held in what he termed “perceptual isolation” can be reduced to semi-psychotic states.

However, while some interpretation and empathy is required to understand the impact on Abu Zubaydah of his profound isolation in this period, in which, as the Times also reported, he was largely cut off from all human interaction, only occasionally punctuated by an interrogator entering his cell, saying, “You know what I want,” and then leaving, there is no denying the visceral impact of the following description. “At times, Mr. Zubaydah, still weak from his wounds, was stripped and placed in a cell without a bunk or blankets,” the Times explained. “He stood or lay on the bare floor, sometimes with air-conditioning adjusted so that, one official said, Mr. Zubaydah seemed to turn blue” (emphasis added).

Further information about Zubaydah’s treatment in Thailand has not emerged in great detail. In The Dark Side, Jane Mayer noted only that he was “held naked in a small cage, like a dog,” and the ICRC report focused instead on his detention in Afghanistan, from May 2002 to February 2003. What we do know, however, from the Senate Committee’s report, is that an FBI agent was so appalled by his treatment at the hands of CIA agents that he “raised objections to these techniques to the CIA and told the CIA it was ‘borderline torture,’” and that, sometime later, FBI director Robert Mueller “decided that FBI agents would not participate in interrogations involving techniques the FBI did not normally use in the United States.” We also know from Jane Mayer that R. Scott Shumate, the chief operational psychologist for the CIA’s Counterterrorist Center, left his job in 2003, apparently disgusted by developments involving the use of the “enhanced interrogation techniques,” and that “associates described him as upset in particular about the treatment of Zubaydah.”

Moreover, although the ICRC report dealt only with Zubaydah’s treatment in Afghanistan, it’s also clear that the techniques to which he was subjected in Afghanistan, in the approximately two and a half months before the OLC memos were signed, also “constituted torture.”

In his statement to the ICRC, Zubaydah explained how, even before the waterboarding began, he was strapped naked to a chair for several weeks in a cell that was “air-conditioned and very cold,” deprived of food, subjected to extreme sleep deprivation for two to three weeks — partly by means of loud music or incessant noise, and partly because, “If I started to fall asleep one of the guards would come and spray water in my face” — and, for the rest of the time, until the waterboarding began, was subjected to further sleep deprivation, and kept in a state of perpetual fear.

This array of techniques undoubtedly appears less dramatic than the “real torturing” that followed (in which the waterboarding was accompanied by physical brutality, hooding, the daily shaving of his hair and beard, and confinement in small boxes), but, again, it is critical to try to imagine what two to three weeks of chronic sleep deprivation actually means, and to recall that, by the time Steven G. Bradbury, the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, revised the approval for torture techniques in May 2005, it was noted that it was only considered acceptable to subject a prisoner to 180 hours (seven and a half days) of sleep deprivation.

To understand how torture came to be used before it was officially approved, we need to return to the New York Times article of September 2006, which explained how, according to accounts by three former intelligence officials, the CIA “understood that the legal foundation for its role had been spelled out in a sweeping classified directive” signed by President Bush on September 17, 2001, which authorized the agency “to capture, detain and interrogate terrorism suspects.”

Significantly, this “memorandum of notification” did not spell out specific guidelines for interrogations, but as later research, and the latest reports have confirmed, the directive led to focused efforts by the CIA, and by William J. Haynes II, the Pentagon’s General Counsel (and a protégé of Dick Cheney), to contact foreign governments for advice on harsh interrogation techniques, and to begin a relationship with a number of individuals involved in the Joint Personnel Recovery Program (JPRA), the body responsible for administering the SERE program (Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape), which is taught at U.S. military schools.

Designed to teach military personnel how to resist interrogation if captured by a hostile enemy, the SERE program uses outlawed techniques derived from techniques used on captured U.S. soldiers during the Korean War to elicit deliberately false confessions, and includes, as the Senate Committee report explained, “stripping detainees of their clothing, placing them in stress positions, putting hoods over their heads, disrupting their sleep, treating them like animals, subjecting them to loud music and flashing lights, and exposing them to extreme temperatures.” In some circumstances, the techniques also include waterboarding, and, as numerous sources — including the recently released reports and memos — have revealed over the last few years, the reverse-engineering of the SERE techniques constituted the bedrock of the administration’s interrogation program, from Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantánamo to the secret dungeons of the CIA.

As we also know, from the pioneering research conducted by Jane Mayer, by the time that the CIA took over Zubaydah’s interrogation from the FBI, in April 2002, the team included Dr. David Mitchell, a retired Air Force SERE psychologist. Thanks to the detailed timeline provided by the Senate Committee, we now know that it was Haynes who first inquired about the applicability of the SERE program to the interrogation of prisoners in December 2001, and we also know that, in April 2002, while “experienced intelligence officers were making recommendations to improve intelligence collection” — which, noticeably, included an assessment by Col. Stuart A. Herrington, a retired Army intelligence officer, that a regime based solely on punishment “detracts from the flexibility that debriefers require to accomplish their mission” — “JPRA officials with no training or experience were working on their own exploitation plan,” and a colleague of Mitchell’s, Bruce Jessen, a senior SERE psychologist, was providing recommendations for JPRA involvement in the “exploitation of select al-Qaeda detainees” in an “exploitation facility” to be established especially for the purpose — which, presumably, turned out to be the secret dungeon provided by the Thai government.

We also know from Mayer that discussions about the CIA’s proposed interrogation techniques, in April 2002, involved numerous other senior officials — beyond the key involvement of Haynes — in meetings in the White House’s Situation Room that were chaired by National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, and attended by Cheney, Rumsfeld, Tenet, Secretary of State Colin Powell, and Attorney General John Ashcroft, and, moreover, that the level of detail provided by Tenet appalled Ashcroft to such an extent that he lamented, “History will not judge us kindly.”

This is disturbing enough, but what makes it even more chilling is the realization that the tactics being discussed, which, it is clear, led swiftly to their enactment in actual interrogations, were some months away from being authorized by the OLC. As the Times article explained, in what was perhaps its most damning passage, “Three former intelligence officials said the techniques had been drawn up on the basis of legal guidance from the Justice Department, but were not yet supported by a formal legal opinion.”

In my book, this means that, regardless of the validity of the OLC’s opinions, those who authorized the torture of Abu Zubaydah between March 28 and July 31, 2002 are not protected by the OLC’s supposed “golden shield,” and should be prosecuted for contravening the prohibition on the use of torture that, since 1988, has been enshrined in U.S. law. This may not apply to all of those who attended the meetings in the White House (plus Haynes), but it’s inconceivable that the CIA began subjecting Abu Zubaydah to chronic isolation and sleep deprivation with receiving approval from somebody in high office.

It remains to be seen, however, whether the Obama administration is committed to abiding by the laws that President Obama praised so lavishly during his election campaign, or whether, instead, he and his administration are committed to reading from a different book: How to Torture With Impunity And Get Away With It, by former Vice President Dick Cheney and an array of associates, all intoxicated with the thrill of unfettered executive power, which concludes by claiming that you get away with breaking any damn law that you please, so long as you’re voted out of office at the end.

Friday, April 24, 2009
The Index On Censorship Award
A big thank you for the very kind and generous congratulatory messages over the past few days.

The Index on Censorship started out as a magazine in 1972. Founded by a group of journalists, writers and artists, the aim of the publication was to provide a platform for views in defence of the freedom of expression. Over the years, it has featured the writings of an impressive list of distinguished writers and thinkers that include Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Milan Kundera, Vaclav Havel, Nadine Gordimer, Noam Chomsky and Umberto Eco (Wikipedia)

Since then it has evolved. As Index says of itself, “Index on Censorship is Britain’s leading organisation promoting freedom of expression. Our award-winning magazine and website provide a window for original, challenging and intelligent writing on these vital issues around the world. Our international projects in media, arts and education put our philosophy into action.”

The Index on Censorship launched the Freedom of Expression Awards in 2000 to recognize free expression activity around the world and to honour those who have made outstanding contributions to the promotion of free expression. Since 2000, the awards have grown and are now awarded in five categories: New Media (supported by The Economist). Law and Campaigning (supported by Bindmans), Journalism (supported by The Guardian), the Index Film Award and the T R Fyvel Book Award.

The first Bindmans Law and Campaigning Award was initiated in 2007. The award is given to lawyers or campaigners “who have fought repression, or have struggled to change political climates and perceptions. Special attention is given to people using or establishing legal precedents to fight injustice.”

The first recipient of the award was Siphiwe Hlophe, a Swazi activist who co-founded Swazis For Positive Living (Swapol) in 2001 when she was abandoned by her husband and lost an agricultural economics scholarship when she tested positive for HIV. Swapol campaigns against gender discrimination related to HIV/Aids as well as provides assistance to persons living with HIV/Aids

In 2008 it was awarded to U Gambira (pseudonym), the leader of the All-Burma Monks Alliance, which organized and spearheaded the nationwide protests in 2007. He was detained in November 2007 and is still under detention.

I only came to know that I had been nominated and had been shortlisted when an associate alerted me. In the same way, I came to know who it was that had nominated me much later: Peter Noorlander, legal director of the Media Legal Defence Initiative, an organisation that works globally to help journalists and small media outlets defend their rights. He was formerly of Article 19, a human rights organization that works around the world to protect and promote the right to free expression. I have had the privilege of collaborating with Peter.

The shortlist for the 2009 Award had three other nominees, all very distinguished in their own right: Gamal Eid (Egypt), Harrison Nkomo (Zimbabwe) and Harry Roque (Phillipines).

The recipient of the award was to be announced at an Awards Dinner held in London on the 21st of April. I could not attend the dinner as I was scheduled for hearings in court through the week. Peter Noorlander was kind enough to represent me and to e-mail me as soon as it was announced (“You won”).

This is how Index describes my selection:

“Malik Imtiaz Sarwar is a leading human rights lawyer and activist and the current president of the National Human Rights Society (HAKAM). Imtiaz has been a central figure in fighting lawsuits brought against journalists and bloggers, and was the lead counsel for Raja Petra Kamaruddin, popular blogger and editor of Malaysia Today, whose release he secured last year. In August 2006, a poster declaring him to be a traitor to Islam and calling for his death was circulated in Malaysia. He has proposed setting up an inter-faith council, and spoken in a series of public forums on the need for religious freedom.”

As far as I know the selection was based entirely on an independent assessment of my efforts. I was not contacted by anyone from Index or associated with the awards nor was I requested to submit any materials to the selection panel. It appears however that the panel of judges was acquainted with my body of work.

In conjunction with the event, I was asked to contribute a comment for the Guardian. This was the piece entitled “The Truth About Malaysia” that has been reproduced on various Malaysian soc-pol sites.

As I said in an interview with Deborah Chong of the Malaysian Insider, I am happy to have been nominated and given the award. It presented an opportunity to bring to light the Malaysian situation, one that sadly in the view of dispassionate and objective third parties fits into the parameters of the award.

But then, that should really not come as a surprise, all things considered.

The cause is however one that is worth all the pain and suffering it might entail, a sentiment that I had the opportunity of expressing in the acceptance speech (that Peter was kind enough to read out for me) in this way:

“Being a public interest advocate is at times one of the loneliest things that one can do. Standing up against systemic repression and populist sentiment is not the most popular thing one can do. And yet, it must be done. In the short period that Malaysians stopped doing so, we lost the Rule of Law. The consequences of this failure is the legacy that younger Malaysians have inherited.

The award tonight is a reminder that no matter the specific nature of our respective struggles, the underlying causes are universal. The truths that define us in Malaysia are the same as those that define our friends in Egypt, Zimbabwe, the Phillipines or any other place. We each want to believe that each of our futures is limited only by our ability to dream.”

We must all keep on reaching for the stars. Our futures are written in them.

Monday, April 13, 2009


30,000 Gather In Strasbourg, France
To Say 'Destroy Nato, Yes We Can'

By Michael Galvin

09 April, 2009

As protesters begin to build barricades and set them on fire, the Franco-German border bridge is brimming with cops in full riot gear. People are milling about, exchanging flyers, watching the dozens of police boats zip around on the Rhine, and walking back and forth from the large meeting ground 500 yards or so away. The atmosphere is tense. Police surround the island that is the Port of Strasbourg, yet on the island itself protesters have free reign. Destruction is in the air.

Thursday (April 2) already saw the 1,500 strong black block wreak havoc in the south part of the city, smashing windows at the police headquarters and a military base, graffiti-ing all along the way. Police repression followed with an invasion of the 10,000 strong protesters. camp ground and 140 arrests. Later on Thursday, an attempted invasion of the camp was fought back as police launched tear gas into surrounding residential neighborhoods, and protesters lit barricades on fire and responded with Molotov cocktails. Friday was a .lighter. day as the anti-NATO conferences went ahead with big speakers such as Tariq Ali and Noam Chomsky, though following the conferences there were once again skirmishes on the outskirts of the camp.

Saturday however was the first official day of the NATO Summit in Strasbourg hosting all the leaders of NATO countries and the announcement of their .New Strategic Concept for the 21st Century. in which NATO, in effect, intends to replace the UN as the deciding international body. This .concept. will undoubtedly continue NATO.s post-1989 trajectory of encircling Russia by pursuing military bases in the Balkans and Eastern Europe, and its missile defense shield in the Czech Republic and Poland despite massive popular opinion against the project.

However, the clearest motive of Barack Obama.s American delegation is the .comprehensive strategy. in Afghanistan which intends to continue the occupation.s escalation by the Bush administration - between 2004 and 2007 the number of air strikes increased from 86 to 2,926 - by adding 21,000 troops to the already 38,000 plus on the ground there. As the country is already divided into occupied sectors of Italians, Americans, French, Germans, and Dutch/Canadian/British like post-Nazi Germany or Austria, the current intervention continues a war that has hardly ceased for 30 years with 8,000 dead in 2007, 260,000 having fled the country, and ¼ of the population lacking adequate food and water. Additionally, only $15 billion of the $25 billion in promised aid from NATO has reached the country, albeit with 40% of the aid given to European and American companies contracted to maintain the occupation there and thus never actually reaching the population.

The situation is dire, as 46,000 Afghans have already died avoidable deaths in the first 40 days of the Obama presidency. And while Obama claims he desires a more global outlook by reaching out to other world leaders, he is also demanding more .responsibility. on their part by fighting America.s wars in the Muslim world. Just one month before the NATO summit, French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced the full reintegration of France in NATO.s military command after a 40-year absence. This peaked people.s interest: would this mean that France - and other European countries - will send more troops to fight the illegal war in Afghanistan? And could this compromise France.s future capability to challenge illegal American wars as they did in Iraq?

Regardless, the move proved a rallying cry for the anti-war movement and the roughly 30,000 protestors who gathered in Strasbourg to say no to NATO.

Despite initial police provocation preventing protesters from safely reaching the meeting point for the protest on Saturday, large groups began to amass in the residential area of the Port of Strasbourg around 1 o.clock. Contingents made their way to the German border bridge where police had formed a formidable obstacle for the 7,000 German protesters on the other side - who were emptily told they could join the French protest - and consequently set fire to the customs office. Helicopters zoomed overhead, their view obscured by the smoke. Desks came out of the building to fuel the fiery barricades. Graffiti scrawled on the walls proclaimed .social war,. .this is for the Afghans,. and .down with NATO, down with capitalism.. Walking toward the meeting grounds, protesters start dismantling billboards, security cameras, and ATMs. With the protest still unable to start as police cordoned off the zone preventing more protesters from entering and those inside from leaving, the destruction begins to take on a new element. A joint bank-pharmacy, like the customs office, goes up in flames sending huge waves of smoke into the sky. Bus stations are obliterated with crow bars, street signs are thrown on developing barricade fires, and church doors are graffiti-ed with quotations from the Enlightenment. The next target is a 6-story hotel which is pillaged and set on fire. Shortly after, the police arrive with tear gas, forcing out the last protesters. A cloud of tear gas envelopes the zone, reaching the assembled 30,000 protesters just 100 yards away. Thousands are coughing and spraying serum into their eyes to alleviate the unbearable burning sensation. Nevertheless, the speeches continue with the overwhelming majority condemning the police actions against the crowd.

The protest finally begins at roughly 3 o.clock as the large mass makes its way along the port to the entrance bridge into the city. Thousands of riot police block the passage, forcing the protest to turn right and circle its way back into the embattled neighborhood. Arriving at the railroad crossing over the entrance back into the neighborhood, the passage is once again blocked. Police begin to close people in on both sides, shooting rubber bullets, tear gas, deafening grenades and spray from a water cannon. Offices are once again smashed, a post office ransacked. Rocks from the train tracks rain down on police who respond with more tear gas. Police violence reaches a peak when they regain control of the tracks and corner a group of pacifists against a wall raining tear gas down upon them. They consequently herd the defenseless and weary mass out of the port zone arresting anyone dressed in black. In the end, roughly 300 are arrested - though only 12 remain in custody - with around 50 injured - ¼ of which are police.

Of course the following day the consensus in the media was shock and condemnation. The only interesting perspective was that of residents in the ravaged working class neighborhood who directed their shock at the authorities who .allowed their community to be sacrificed.. While they were confused and afflicted by the destruction of their neighborhood, they seemed to understand that a city which welcomes a NATO summit in the current environment will not come out unscathed. To the contrary, a city which welcomes the 60th anniversary celebration of NATO.s war crimes must inevitably pay a heavy price. Yet, they were the ones forced to shoulder the burden.

Michael Galvin Originally from St. Louis, MO, Michael Galvin attended a liberal arts college in Minnesota from 2004-2008 where he worked with various anti-war organizations. Spending his entirely politically conscious life in George W. Bush's America, Michael decided to leave following the end of his studies, taking a job with the French government where he teaches English to 4th and 5th grade near Toulouse, France. He will be going to Palestine this summer in solidarity with Palestinians working to end the Israeli occupation.


Too Many Overseas Bases

By David Vine

12 March, 2009

In the midst of an economic crisis that.s getting scarier by the day, it.s time to ask whether USA can really afford some 1,000 military bases overseas. For those unfamiliar with the issue, you read that number correctly. One thousand. One thousand U.S. military bases outside the 50 states and Washington, DC, representing the largest collection of bases in world history.

Officially the Pentagon counts 865 base sites, but this notoriously unreliable number omits all our bases in Iraq (likely over 100) and Afghanistan (80 and counting), among many other well-known and secretive bases. More than half a century after World War II and the Korean War, we still have 268 bases in Germany, 124 in Japan, and 87 in South Korea. Others are scattered around the globe in places like Aruba and Australia, Bulgaria and Bahrain, Colombia and Greece, Djibouti, Egypt, Kuwait, Qatar, Romania, Singapore, and of course, Guantánamo Bay, Cuba . just to name a few. Among the installations considered critical to our national security are a ski center in the Bavarian Alps, resorts in Seoul and Tokyo, and 234 golf courses the Pentagon runs worldwide.

Unlike domestic bases, which set off local alarms when threatened by closure, our collection of overseas bases is particularly galling because almost all our taxpayer money leaves the United States (much goes to enriching private base contractors like corruption-plagued former Halliburton subsidiary KBR). One part of the massive Ramstein airbase near Landstuhl, Germany, has an estimated value of $3.3 billion. Just think how local communities could use that kind of money to make investments in schools, hospitals, jobs, and infrastructure.

Even the Bush administration saw the wastefulness of our overseas basing network. In 2004, then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld announced plans to close more than one-third of the nation.s overseas installations, moving 70,000 troops and 100,000 family members and civilians back to the United States. National Security Adviser Jim Jones, then commander of U.S. forces in Europe, called for closing 20% of our bases in Europe. According to Rumsfeld.s estimates, we could save at least $12 billion by closing 200 to 300 bases alone. While the closures were derailed by claims that closing bases could cost us in the short term, even if this is true, it.s no reason to continue our profligate ways in the longer term.

Costs Far Exceeding Dollars and Cents

Unfortunately, the financial costs of our overseas bases are only part of the problem. Other costs to people at home and abroad are just as devastating. Military families suffer painful dislocations as troops stationed overseas separate from loved ones or uproot their families through frequent moves around the world. While some foreign governments like U.S. bases for their perceived economic benefits, many locals living near the bases suffer environmental and health damage from military toxins and pollution, disrupted economic, social, and cultural systems, military accidents, and increased prostitution and crime.

In undemocratic nations like Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Saudi Arabia, our bases support governments responsible for repression and human rights abuses. In too many recurring cases, soldiers have raped, assaulted, or killed locals, most prominently of late in South Korea, Okinawa, and Italy. The forced expulsion of the entire Chagossian people to create our secretive base on British Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean is another extreme but not so aberrant example.

Bases abroad have become a major and unacknowledged .face. of the United States, frequently damaging the nation.s reputation, engendering grievances and anger, and generally creating antagonistic rather than cooperative relationships between the United States and others. Most dangerously, as we have seen in Saudi Arabia and Yemen, and as we are seeing in Iraq and Afghanistan, foreign bases create breeding grounds for radicalism, anti-Americanism, and attacks on the United States, reducing, rather than improving, our national security.

Proponents of maintaining the overseas base status quo will argue, however, that our foreign bases are critical to national and global security. A closer examination shows that overseas bases have often heightened military tensions and discouraged diplomatic solutions to international conflicts. Rather than stabilizing dangerous regions, our overseas bases have often increased global militarization, enlarging security threats faced by other nations who respond by boosting military spending (and in cases like China and Russia, foreign base acquisition) in an escalating spiral. Overseas bases actually make war more likely, not less.

The Benefits of Fewer Bases

This isn.t a call for isolationism or a protectionism that would prevent us from spending money overseas. As the Obama administration and others have recognized, we must recommit to cooperative forms of engagement with the rest of the world that rely on diplomatic, economic, and cultural ties rather than military means. In addition to freeing money to meet critical human needs at home and abroad, fewer overseas bases would help rebuild our military into a less overstretched, defensive force committed to defending the nation.s territory from attack.

In these difficult economic times, the Obama administration and Congress should initiate a major reassessment of our 1,000 overseas bases. Now is the time to ask if, as a nation and a world, we can really afford the 1,000 bases that are pushing the nation deeper into debt and making the United States and the planet less secure? With so many needs facing our nation, it.s unconscionable to have 1,000 overseas bases. It.s time to begin closing them.

David Vine, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at American University in Washington, DC and a contributor to Foreign Policy In Focus, is organizing the Security Without Empire conference that will bring together leading U.S. peace activists and scholars, as well as base opponents from 11 nations from February 27-March 2. He is the author of Island of Shame: The Secret History of the U.S. Military Base on Diego Garcia (Princeton University Press), to be released in April.



Sunday, April 12, 2009

only holograms can do that NOSE OUT FOX5

From a posting of "Socialservice" in

Simon Shack writes:


I would recommend to anyone still wondering if the Nose-Out shot was at all aired on TV to watch FOXED OUT very carefully. I sometimes wonder whether folks posting here have taken time to watch through all of my research. I wish they would, so as to move on - or at least avoid the endless reiteration of certain issues.


It seems that even 'dogged researchers' such as 'Ace Baker' have still not grasped the fact that
the original nose-out shot IS ACTUALLY TO BE FOUND IN THE FOX5 ARCHIVES - albeit for a few frames only.

user posted image
( What we see here is a crossfade between the original Nose-Out shot and the subsequently overlaid 'Blue Shot', purposely made to coverup the former.)

To anyone savvy with video editing, just how the TV-fakery-goons cocked up this one must be clear as day : the 'Blue Shot' (see below) was simply aligned on top of the original nose-out sequence and goofily cross-faded, leaving a fraction of the original nose-out shot visible rolleyes.gif

user posted image

In doing so (manufacturing the Blue Shot) they also cocked-up the synch of the other flying objects visible around the towers (I've named them 'ACE' and 'SCOTT'):
user posted imageuser posted image

All this may be a little difficult for the layman to take in but I would expect any serious TV-fakery researcher to fully understand the evidence presented here.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

911 inside job - great entertainment!!

US TV show to discuss 911 conspiracy.

But not the media!

The MUST NOT DSCUSS IT.,rescue-me-daniel-sunjata-911-theories-040509.article

Denis Leary revives 'Rescue Me' with friend Michael J. Fox

Isn't interesting how the US media non-handles the hot potato?

los angeles times:,0,7595424.story
takes it for granted.. but no comment.

san fran chronicle phantastically manages to not mention it at all

Boston Globe

The Hartford Courant has no problem talking about 911 inside job as if
it was just a great football game.,0,6562062.story

some people are even frothing at the mouth:

'Rescue Me' Returns; Leary Fans The Flames

Stand-up Comedy Tour, Also Featuring Leary, Stops At Mohegan Sun Saturday

Denis Leary

Denis Leary will be performing at the Mohegan Sun Arena on Saturday, March 28th at 8:00pm. (BARRY WETCHER / ABC / April 27, 2000)

Things have been so quiet at the New York City firehouse Truck 62, you might think it's closed.

It's been 16 months since the last fire call came at the station at the center of the cable hit "Rescue Me." Blame the 2008 writers' strike. >>Work was not only delayed, as it was for scores of other series, but finished episodes were kept from running because of all the other FX series that had to get on first.

Michael J. Fox guests as a wheelchair-bound man in the new season of ''Rescue Me'' on FX.
Michael J. Fox guest star

Now, like the kind of flare-up the firefighters routinely battle, the acclaimed series starring Denis Leary is back with some intensity.

The premiere of an extra-long fifth season of "Rescue Me" comes April 7 and to help herald it is the first-ever "Rescue Me Comedy Tour," which stops Saturday at the Mohegan Sun with Leary and two other stand-up comedians also in the show's cast, Lenny Clarke and Adam Ferrara.

It's Leary's first stand-up tour in 12 years, and the cross- Connecticut trip from his home in Roxbury to the casino in Uncasville is intended to drum up interest in the fifth season of the show. >>Leary, 51, serves not only as star of the tough and fiercely funny firefighting series, he's also a writer, executive producer and co-creator with his longtime collaborator Peter Tolan.

The return of "Rescue Me" at long last will cap an active year that saw Leary publish a new book in "Why We Suck: A Feel Good Guide to Staying Fat, Loud, Lazy and Stupid" and earn a Emmy nomination for his role in the HBO film "Recount."

After four, 13-episode seasons of "Rescue Me," the fifth boasts 22 episodes that will run all the way to September. Last month, FX ordered an 18-episode sixth season for next year. And even that may not be enough to tell the story of angst-filled firefighter Tommy Gavin and his world.

"We're coming to the end of this run, going, 'Man, we've got stories that just can't wait to be told,'" Leary told reporters at the TV writers' press tour earlier this year. "That's really a credit to the actors because we have never found ourselves bored as writers this year at all."

That was a good thing, since "Rescue Me" is a series that's written on the fly.

"We write as we go," Leary says. "We're always two episodes ahead at the most because we like to sort of let it gestate with the actors so we can see what the actors are doing and how their characters are interacting."

Such adjustment, he says, "keeps it very alive. It makes it a little bit more crazy in terms of the writing process, but we're coming to the end of 22 episodes, and I'm telling you the stories are bursting at the seams."

It was the smoldering aftermath of 9/11 that permeated the initial season of the show in 2004. Tommy's dead firefighter cousin returned as a ghost, his pal Lou wrote a lot of bad poetry about it and other guys in the firehouse were getting action from women as a result of being declared heroes.

Leary brought a special insight into the characters and the tragedy, as his cousin died in the 1999 Worcester warehouse fire that killed six firefighters.

And while the immediate shock of the attack fades as Ground Zero is rebuilt, it comes back in the new season through several stories. One involves a foreign journalist who wants to interview the guys for a book she's preparing for the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

"We thought, boy, in real life that would just be such a dagger for these guys, because they've really been trying to get over it," he says.

Tolan says the story line is also a commentary on "commerce being spawned by 9/11."

Renewed interest in the tragedy "gives my character Lou the opportunity to kind of try to re-flame the fires of him thinking of himself as a literary giant for a little while," says actor John Scurti.

More explosively, a return to the issue will give them a chance to address a more hot button issue: 9/11 conspiracy theories.

"There are alternative theories about what really happened on 9/11. They're not discussed a lot in the press. And I think that the way the show addresses the issue is going to be socio-politically provocative," says Daniel Sunjata, whose character, Franco Rivera, will bring them up. "I'm really gratified that they allowed that to be focused through my character, because I happen to subscribe to a lot of those theories and beliefs that 9/11 was an inside job."

"That's part of the reason why we wrote it," Tolan says, referring to Sunjata's theories. "Obviously, not all of us buy in. But we went, 'wow, that's interesting, and he's passionate about it. Let's use that.'"

"What's also great is my character, who became a firefighter because of 9/11, looks for answers from Danny's character," says Michael Lombardi who plays firefighter Mike Siletti. "So both sides are really played well."

"It creates a great rift in the firehouse, which is a circumstance that has happened in several firehouses in New York, where some of the younger members don't even have to completely buy into the theory of 9/11 being an inside job, but want to discuss it," Leary says. "On set I was like, man, the energy in the room is insane. And then, when you saw it cut together, I was like, wow, this looks like somebody's going to kill somebody, which is what we were looking for, that kind of spark to it."

More immediately, the series will deal with Gavin's issues following the death of his father (played by Charles Durning); his ex-wife's new flame (played by Michael J. Fox); Siletti buying a bar with the proceeds of his mother's estate; and a new boxing career for Franco, which involves Lou as a trainer and Ferrara's Chief "Needles" Nelson as manager.

"As far as acting, it's great," Ferrara said over the phone from the "Rescue Me" set this week. "One day it's very dramatic and physical, and the next day it's the funniest thing you've seen."

The comedy tour will give the cast a chance to work together in a different format, onstage. "We'll do some stand up and show some clips from the show and help promote the premiere," Ferrara says. "It will be a fun night, something you won't be able to see anywhere else."

THE RESCUE ME COMEDY TOUR featuring Denis Leary" plays the Mohegan Sun Arena Saturday at 8 p.m. Tickets are $66, $46 and $31. Information: 888-226-7711 or "Rescue Me" starts its fifth season April 7 at 10 p.m. on FX.

FX is owned by News Corp.

See other posts here for more information on why 911 was an inside job and exactly how they did it....

u2r2h blog

Danish TV = 9/11 truth! MUST SEE - Sensational!

First the Mohammed Cartoons, now this!


The excellent work by Niels Harrit, Farrer, Jones and Ryan et. al in the recent journal article (Thermitic Material Discovered in WTC Dust) has paved the way for some very good media coverage in Denmark. At around 10:30 pm on Monday April 6, Harrit was interviewed for 10 minutes during the late news program on one of the two most respected Danish television channels (TV2). On Wednesday April 8, Harrit was interviewed for 6 minutes at 8:45 am during a live news and entertainment program on the same channel. In both cases, Harrit, and the claims of the article, were treated with refreshing seriousness and respect.

The first interview has been subtitled in English and loaded onto youtube (direct link), and should appear (embedded) below

The clip is also available on our server ( with links to various alternative (higher quality) formats and the full text of the English subtitles. Some readers may want to download a high quality version and mirror it on other servers (put the URL in a comment to this blog entry), in case our server struggles with demand and/or youtube lets us down.

We are working on subtitles for the second 6 min. interview (covers similar material) and will post this later. The journal article has also received reasonably fair coverage in a number of mainstream Danish newspapers (these articles are in Danish, the headlines are translated below):

JyllandsPosten: Researchers: Explosives in dust from WTC Danish researcher: Explosive nano-material found in dust from WTC Niels Harrit: Scientific evidence for old knowledge about 9/11

Politiken: 9/11 conspiracy theories revitalised

EkstraBladet: WTC mystery: Nano-thermite in the towers

Ingeniøren: Research team claims to have found nano-explosive in the World Trade Center

Kristeligt Dagblad: Dane resurrects September 11 conspiracy theory

We hope this precedent may serve to encourage journalists in other countries to take the article's findings seriously, and start looking more critically at 9/11. Do what you can to make them aware of this coveraage in your country.

The Danish tabloid newspaper Ekstra Bladet has posted on their web site this 46 minute video with other prominent danes who question the official 911 story (all in Danish, hopefully someone will rise to the task and repost this with subtitles!)

The first author on this recent paper,[1] Niels H. Harrit, Associate Professor at the Department of Chemistry at the University of Copenhagen and expert in nano-chemistry, has given the below interview at approximately 10:30 p.m. April 6, 2009 on TV 2 News in Denmark ( ), one of the two most respected Danish television channels:

"A danish scientist Niels Harrit, on nano-thermite in the WTC dust ( english subtitles )," Enderlein79, April 10, 2009

The following is an English-translation transcript of the aforementioned interview:

Interviewer: International researchers have found traces of explosives among the World Trade Center rubble. A new scientific article concludes that impacts from the two hijacked aircraft did not cause the collapses in 2001.

We turn our attention to 9/11: the major attack in New York. Apparently the two airplane impacts did not cause the towers to collapse, according to a newly published scientific article. Researchers found nano-thermite explosive in the rubble, that cannot have come from the planes. They believe several tonnes of explosives were placed in the buildings in advance.

Niels Harrit, you and eight other researchers conclude in this article, that it was nano-thermite that caused these buildings to collapse. What is nano-thermite?

Niels Harrit: We found nano-thermite in the rubble. We are not saying only nano-thermite was used. Thermite itself dates back to 1893. It is a mixture of aluminum and rust-powder, which react to create intense heat. The reaction produces iron, heated to 2500 °C. This can be used to do welding. It can also be used to melt other iron. Nanotechnology makes things smaller. So in nano-thermite, this powder from 1893 is reduced to tiny particles, perfectly mixed. When these react, the intense heat develops much more quickly. Nano-thermite can be mixed with additives to give off intense heat, or serve as a very effective explosive. It contains more energy than dynamite, and can be used as rocket fuel.

Interviewer: I Googled nano-thermite, and not much has been written about it. Is it a widely known scientific substance? Or is it so new that other scientists are hardly aware of it?

Harrit: It is a collective name for substances with high levels of energy. If civilian researchers (like myself) are not familiar with it, it is probably because they do not do much work with explosives. As for military scientists, you would have to ask them. I do not know how familiar they are with nanotechnology.

Interviewer: So you found this substance in the WTC, why do you think it caused the collapses?

Harrit: Well, it's an explosive. Why else would it be there?

Interviewer: You believe the intense heat melted the building's steel support structure, and caused the building to collapse like a house of cards?

Harrit: I cannot say precisely, as this substance can serve both purposes. It can explode and break things apart, and it can melt things. Both effects were probably used, as I see it. Molten metal pours out of the South Tower several minutes before the collapse. This indicates the whole structure was being weakened in advance. Then the regular explosives come into play. The actual collapse sequence had to be perfectly timed, all the way down.

Interviewer: What quantities are we talking about?

Harrit: A lot. There were only two planes, but three skyscrapers collapsed. We know roughly how much dust was created. The pictures show huge quantities, everything but the steel was pulverized. And we know roughly how much unreacted thermite we have found. This is the "loaded gun": material that did not ignite for some reason. We are talking about tonnes. Over 10 tonnes, possibly 100 tonnes.

Interviewer: Ten tonnes, possibly 100 tonnes, in three buildings? And these substances are not normally found in such buildings?

Harrit: No. These materials are extremely advanced.

Interviewer: How do you place such material in a skyscraper, on all the floors?

Harrit: How you would get it in?

Interviewer: Yes.

Harrit: If I had to transport it in those quantities I would use pallets: get a truck and move it in on pallets.

Interviewer: Why hasn't this been discovered earlier?

Harrit: By whom?

Interviewer: The caretakers, for example. If you are moving 10 to 100 tonnes of nano-thermite around, and placing it on all the floors. I am just surprised no one noticed.

Harrit: As a journalist, you should address that question to the company responsible for security at the WTC.

Interviewer: So you are in no doubt the material was present?

Harrit: You cannot fudge this kind of science. We have found it: unreacted thermite.

Interviewer: What responses has your article received around the world? It is completely new knowledge for me.

Harrit: It was only published last Friday. So it is too early to say. But the article may not be as groundbreaking as you think. Hundreds of thousands of people around the world, have long known that the three buildings were demolished. This has been crystal clear. Our research is just the last nail in the coffin. This is not the "smoking gun"--it is the "loaded gun." Each day, thousands of people realize that the WTC was demolished. That is something unstoppable.

Interviewer: Why has no one discovered earlier that there was nano-thermite in the buildings? Almost ten years have passed.

Harrit: You mean in the dust?

Interviewer: Yes.

Harrit: It was by chance that someone looked at the dust with a microscope. They are tiny red chips. The biggest are 1 mm in size, and can be seen with the naked eye. But you need a microscope to see the vast majority. It was by chance that someone discovered them two years ago. It has taken 18 months to prepare the scientific article you refer to. It is a very comprehensive article based on thorough research.

Interviewer: You have been working on this for several years, because it didn't make sense to you.

Harrit: Yes, over two years actually. It all started when I saw the collapse of Building 7, the third skyscraper. It collapsed seven hours after the twin towers. And there were only two airplanes. When you see a 47-storey building, 186 m tall, collapse in 6.5 seconds, and you are a scientist, you think "What?!" I had to watch it again and again. I hit the button 10 times, and my jaw dropped lower and lower. Firstly, I had never heard of that building before. And there was no visible reason why it should collapse in that way, straight down, in 6.5 seconds. I have had no rest since that day.

Interviewer: Ever since 9/11 there has been speculation, and conspiracy theories. What do you say to viewers who hear about your research and say, "We've heard it all before, there are lots of conspiracy theories." What would you say to convince them that this is different?

Harrit: I think there is only one conspiracy theory worth mentioning, the one involving 19 hijackers. I think viewers should ask themselves what evidence they have seen to support the official conspiracy theory. If anyone has seen evidence, I would like to hear about it. No one has been formally charged. No one is "wanted." Our work should lead to demands for a proper criminal investigation of the 9/11 terrorist attack. Because it never happened. We are still waiting for it. We hope our results will be used as technical evidence when that day comes.

Interviewer: Niels Harrit, fascinating. Thanks for coming in.

Harrit: My pleasure.



1. Niels H. Harrit, Jeffrey Farrer, Steven E. Jones, Kevin R. Ryan, Frank M. Legge, Daniel Farnsworth, Gregg Roberts, James R. Gourley and Bradley R. Larsen, "Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe," Open Chemical Physics Journal, Vol. 2 (2009), pp. 7-31



"Active Thermitic Material Discovered In Dust From The 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe"

brief info:

download paper:

Scholars For 9/11 Truth & Justice:

Architects & Engineers For 9/11 Truth:

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(Via the Citizens for Legitimate Government email newslist. Those who wish to be added to the list can go here: and add your name.)

'Devil's Advocate' jury finds no proof he was behind Sept. 11

By Scott Roxborough - April 9, 2009, 12:37 PM ET

BERLIN -- A Dutch TV jury has found Osama bin Laden not guilty of the Sept. 11 attacks.

In the conclusion Wednesday night to the show "Devil's Advocate" on Dutch public broadcaster Nederland 2, the jury of two men and three women, along with the studio audience, ruled there was no proof bin Laden was the mastermind behind the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in 2001.

The Netherlands, home to "Big Brother" creator Endemol, is known for being on the cutting edge of format-based television. But even for Dutch standards, "Devil's Advocate," from Amsterdam production house AVRO, pushes the envelope.

The show features star defense attorney Gerard Spong standing up for some of the world's worst criminals.

In the latest show, Spong was able to convince the jury that bin Laden's connection to Sept. 11 was a product of "Western propaganda." The jury also ruled there was insufficient evidence to prove bin Laden was the real head of terrorist network al-Qaida. However, the jury did rule that bin Laden is a "terrorist who has misused Islam."

The show is certain to provide further ammunition in the already heated Dutch debate over immigration and the country's large Muslim minority. The Netherlands saw a sharp rise in anti-immigration and anti-Islamic sentiment after the 2004 murder of Dutch director Theo Van Gogh by a Muslim extremist.

Spong has been at the center of the debate, supporting legal action against anti-immigrant politician Geert Wilders.

The attorny Spong is one of Hollands top 5 attornies and is well respected by most. I saw the show and thought it was ok, Spong does proof/debates innocense on 2 of 3 counts. first he's innocent for planning 911 (no proof/video proof fake) 2nd he's innocent for leading AlQaida he's just a poster boy for the US. He was guilty of being a terrorist , the jury rulled he did (uss cole, US ambasades) spreads terror around the world and isn't a freedom fighter like Nelson Mandela as Spong claimed. But was it ground breaking did it push the envelope? you'd be the judge. Interesting was the argument on who's the terrorist.. Bin Laden or the USA? Going back to the start of the rusia/afgan war and the sponsorship/creation of Al-CIAda by the US. Spong said "alqaida doesn't excist" and he was right on that! He also mostly used the material shown in the BBC "power of nightmares" documentary.


(It's been over 10 years since Annie Machon and David Shayler resigned from MI5, to blow the whistle on an act of False Flag terror by British intelligence in Libya, and other deceptive practices by intelligence agencies in the UK and abroad. In 2006, Machon gave a Keynote speech at the landmark Chicago 9/11 Truth Conference, introducing her story to a wider audience. In 2006-7, Machon organised three UK and European tours for William Rodriguez. She traveled and spoke with him at over 40 engagements, last year she spoke in California. She has also organised European speaking tours for Richard Gage and David Ray Griffin, and shared a platform with Cynthia McKinney in Amsterdam in 2007. Starting in May, Machon will be speaking at a number of places in Canada. To learn more about this speaking tour, and to possibly add your city to the itinerary, please contact Elizabeth Woodworth: elizwood(at) or Patrick Borden: omtrayumbakam(at) -rep.)

911blogger: Ms. Machon, what is your current relationship with David Shayler? Do you still believe that Shayler had a genuine breakdown, or was his breakdown perhaps premediated, with the intent of making 9/11 Truth advocates look batty?

Machon: David and I separated almost three years ago, and I'm now living in Germany with my partner and Molly the cat.

I have very little contact with David now, which is strange after the intensity of our years together, when we blew the whistle, had to go on the run around Europe, watch as our friends, family, supporters and journalists were arrested, live in France for 3 years and survive two high-profile court cases.

It's a shame it all happened just before the internet, electronic media archives, and youtube were endemic - otherwise people would be able to see, at the click of a mouse, just how big a scandal it was, what we went through, and how vicious the response was from the government and intelligence agencies. The story has been largely forgotten and spun by the media, and my book (which described the full case) was buried.

Our involvement with the 9/11 movement started in 2005 at a journalism conference where we were trying to publicise the book, when a leading UK 9/11 activist approached us. We were actively "head hunted" by the nascent UK movement, and for the first year Shayler's name and profile really helped build it - media interviews, speaking tours etc.

Then he started to get more and more erratic, and increasingly intractable in his views, until he started talking about speculative fringe theories such as "no planes" in public, and the whole campaign was ridiculed by the media in the UK.

During 2006 I was working flat out on building the movement with interviews and speaking tours. David and I argued about his approach constantly towards the end of our relationship and it was a factor in our split, as I felt angry that he was jeopardising all this work from so many people with his views.

That said, in my view it was a genuine breakdown - I think the hero-worship for the whistleblowing from certain sectors of society and the vilification by others, plus the constant isolation and struggle to survive, led inevitably to this victim (sacrificial/Messiah) mentality. I think it was just a traumatised mind's survival mechanism.

I feel desperately sad about that a man who acted with the bravest and best of intentions should have been treated this way and brought to this state. And angry that the supine mainstream media did not hold the spies and government to account, but colluded in destroying a good man's reputation.

That said, it's difficult enough to get the general public to even ask the basic questions about 9/11. I think that going in at the deep end with subjects like NPT/space beams, let alone announcing that you're the Messiah, is inevitably going to damage the movement.

911blogger: You don't have to name names, but have you encountered MI5 operatives involved with infiltration of the 9/11 Truth movement in the UK?

Machon: I doubt if even MI5 would be incompetent enough to send in someone I'd recognise!

There is a very British muddle in how surveillance is done in the UK. It's not just MI5 we have to worry about, there are also police Special Branch sections (ie secret police - every force has one), as well as a massive growth in the private security companies that are also being used to watch activists - all utterly deniable of course. There was a good article about this in The New Statesman Magazine.

Also, work is strictly delineated within MI5. Intelligence officers (which is what I was) tend to co-ordinate operations; agents are people specifically recruited to infiltrate groups, and their identities are a closely guarded secret even within the service, so it would be highly unlikely that I would bump into anyone I would recognise.

That said, I did a speaking event in London last year and a former counter-terrorism officer from the Metropolitan Police, who has been battling the Met for the last few years and whom I'd met on a couple of TV projects, did tell me that he recognised one of his former colleagues in the audience. Perhaps he was just there out of interest....

911blogger: Does MI5 in the UK, and MI6 abroad, actively recruit Muslims, who then in turn recruit other Muslims for "al Qaeda" -- but really just wind up as Patsies to be blamed for False Flag terror? And is this really what "al Qaeda" is? A Western intelligence operation? Or do you think it is more complex than that?

Machon: The illegal MI6 plot to assassinate Colonel Gaddafi of Libya in 1996 was was a classic case of such false flag terrorism, and was the primary reason Shayler and I blew the whistle.

In this, MI6 funded a Libyan military intelligence officer, codenamed Tunworth, to organise this attack using a group of Islamic extremists with links to "Al Qaeda". The attack occurred when Gaddafi was returning from Sirte in a cavalcade of cars and an explosion occurred beneath the wrong car. Gaddafi obviously survived, but innocent people were killed in the ensuing security shoot-out.

As well as being unethical and highly reckless in a volatile part of the world, the operation was also illegal under UK law. MI6 is supposed to be governed by by the 1994 Intelligence Services Act. Under this law, MI6 officers can have immunity for illegal acts carried out abroad (the real "James Bond" license to kill), but only if they have prior written permission from their political master - the Foreign Secretary. In this case, they had no such permission.

We repeatedly tried to give evidence about the Gadaffi plot to the government; to this day they have refused to accept it, even though an MI6 document was leaked in 2000 proving the plot, and sources in French and US intelligence were aware of it. When Shayler exposed this crime in 1998, he was thrown in prison in Paris because the British government tried (and failed) to extradite him. There was huge pressure for an enquiry, but the government managed to spin its way out of one.

Of course, it's generally accepted that "Al Qaeda" began with the CIA's support for the mujahadin in Afghanistan in the 1980s. Also, that the links continue to this day. But "Al Qaeda" has also become an ideology, a franchise that genuinely angry Muslims will sign up to. So it's a mixed bag.

911blogger: Is there a political party in the UK that offers a real alternative for 9/11 Truth advocates? For example, is there a political party that demands a dismantling or serious overhaul of MI5/MI6?

Machon: Unfortunately not. The UK Green Party expressed some interest in the issue of 9/11 a while ago, but that went nowhere. The mainstream political parties won't touch it. The issue was getting a lot of coverage in the UK a couple of years ago, but since then the campaign has been fragmented by arguments about whether we should focus on a credible political campaign, a la David Ray Griffin or Richard Gage, or focus on the "bigger picture". Many people chose the latter, and this made it ridiculously easy for the media and political classes to dismiss the subject as pure conspiracy theory.

Ditto with the reform of the intelligence community. Whistleblowers are always dismissed as "Walter Mitty" fantasists who are disgruntled or too junior to know what they're talking about (think Shayler, Dr David Kelly, Katherine Gunn, Richard Tomlinson). By attacking and dismissing the whistleblower, the government and spooks thereby manage to avoid enquiries into the very grave disclosures. The only time that MPs were roused to ire was when one of their own was arrested by Special Branch last year: Conservative MP Damien Green.

MI5 holds information on many senior politicians in the UK, which might explain their reluctance to rein in the spooks. This is a real problem for a democracy - very much a case of the tail wagging the dog.

I have been arguing for years now that we need a radical overhaul of the intelligence agencies. They are completely unaccountable and above criticism and, as such, become self-perpetuating oligarchies. By throwing more power, money and resources at them to counter the "war on terror", we just make the existing problems bigger, not better.

So, the best thing that the politicians could do would be to step back and ask: what are the REAL threats to our national security and, based on that, how can we best protect ourselves from them? I would argue we should dismantle MI5. MI6 and GCHQ, with all their attendant historical baggage, and establish a new agency that has to work within strictly defined parameters, obey the law, and work under real democratic oversight.

Much more information about this can be found at

911blogger: In Yuri Felshtinsky's new book, he shows that the KGB/FSB have engaged in False Flag terror to demonize Muslims in Chechnya. Recently, it was revealed in the New York Times, and elsewhere, that the Mossad recruited and ran a cousin of one of the alleged 9/11 hijackers as an asset. Can you cite some other examples of other nation's intelligence agencies engaging in this practice?

Machon: Certainly. The classic example is the Israeli Embassy bombing in London in 1994. In this case, two innocent Palestinians studying in London, Samar Alami and Jawed Botmeh, were befriended by someone called Reda Moghrabi, who then asked for help in buying a second-hand car. That car subsequently exploded outside the embassy, and Alami and Botmeh were convicted of conspiring to cause a terrorist attack and sentenced to 20 years each. Moghrabi was never traced.

MI5's official assessment of this attack, after reviewing all the evidence and all the intelligence, was that Mossad had attacked their own embassy in a controlled explosion. They did this for two reasons: first to gain enhanced security around Israeli interests in London, and secondly to shatter a fast-growing Palestinian support network in which Alami and Botmeh happened to be active.

This was one of the cases we blew the whistle on. You would think that there would have been an immediate retrial, but the government managed to avoid this as it would have justified the whistleblowing, and two innocent people continue to languish in prison.

Additionally, there was a similar attack in Buenos Aires in 1994. A few years ago, the government there DID order a judicial enquiry, and this revealed that Mossad had carried out that attack too.

(Source: Please, please, view THIS speech by Mrs Machon and form an opinions as to her sanity!

911blogger: Are there any good books out there that tell a realistic version of how MI5/MI6 operates?

Machon: Glad you asked! My book is called "Spies, Lies and Whistleblowers". It was banned for 15 months by MI5, buried by the national media in the UK and is now, I believe, rather difficult to get hold of.

Also, Mark Urban, formerly of military intelligence and currently at the BBC, wrote a good book called "UK Eyes Alpha: Inside British Intelligence", which gets the tone right, and Stephen Dorril writes well-researched books, although he has no insider knowledge of the agencies.

911blogger: Thanks to the internet, we know much more about how "intelligence agencies" operate, and a growing realization of elite control that just didn't exist on any significant level 20 years ago. Faced with the Orwellian power of the mainstream media, do you think we even have a chance of waking enough people up to change Western society sufficiently to put an end to False Flag terrorism?

Machon: The internet could be our salvation - we need to be our own media. We increasingly see citizen journalists recording and reporting facts that the MSM choses to ignore - only last week during the G20 demonstrations in London, a man was assaulted by a police officer and died. The MSM and the police claimed that he just collapsed, but a bystander had captured what really happened on film.

Of course, the MSM is part of the establishment, no longer the Fourth Estate. In the UK, is easily manipulated and controlled by secrecy laws, as well as patronage and spin from the spies and government. There's a very good book out called "Flat Earth News" by Nick Davies that charts the demise of real investigative journalism.

So, yes, it's difficult to spread the word about 9/11 quickly and effectively. We need urgently to reach out beyond the choir. Many people around the world are appalled by the deaths of innocent millions in the illegal Middle East wars; and many are also appalled that the "war on terror" is used as an excuse to shred our freedoms and constitutional rights.

We need to place 9/11 at the heart of these discussions, but we will only have a chance of doing this if we are disciplined in our campaigning, no matter what our personal beliefs or interests are. The stakes are just too high.


video 2

Annie Machon, California presentation 2008 TALK - (1 of 2) - 59:04 - Jan 9, 2008

Annie Machon tells the tale of her experience working for the British intelligence services, getting out as a whistleblower and the relevanc...all » Annie Machon tells the tale of her experience working for the British intelligence services, getting out as a whistleblower and the relevance of to these in the context of the war on terror and civil rights worldwide


video 3

Annie Machon, California presentation 2008 Q&A - (2 of 2) - 34:10 - Jan 9, 2008

Annie Machon tells the tale of her experience working for the British intelligence services, getting out as a whistleblower and the relevanc...all » Annie Machon tells the tale of her experience working for the British intelligence services, getting out as a whistleblower and the relevance of to these in the context of the war on terror and civil rights worldwide

video 4

Annie Machon at the Chicago 9/11 Conference 2006 - 1:07:33 - Sep 2, 2006

Annie Machon talks about 9/11 at the ‘9/11: Revealing the Truth, Reclaiming Our Future’ event which took place at the Chicago Embassy Suites on the 3rd June 2006.

video 5

Ian Crane and Annie Machon in Chicago - State Sponsored Terrorism - 35:35 - Aug 1, 2006
Mind Deprogramming -

(4 Ratings) Rate:

Ian Crane and Annie Machon giving a good presentation called "State Sponsored Terrorism" at the "9/11: Revealing the Truth, Reclaiming Our Future" in Chicago June 2006.

Ian Crane and Annie Machon in Chicago - State Sponsored Terrorism


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The 9/11 – 7/7 Connection

On Friday 22nd July 2005, Ian Crane opened the Glastonbury Symposium with an analysis of the sinister geopolitical webs that have been spun, resulting in the tragic events of 9/11 and 7/7. Just two weeks after 7/7, Ian's research already indicated that the official version of the supposed 'terror' attacks in London cannot stand up to the scrutiny of research. The subsequent failed attacks on 21/7, the assassination of Jean-Charles Menezes the folowing day and the bombing at Sharm-El-Sheik in Egypt on July 23rd raise even more painful and very disturbing questions. This compilation of two live recordings (Glastonbury - 22nd July & Totnes - 30th August 2005) raises some very important and disturbing questions and is a 'must see' for anyone who still holds the view that the events of 9/11 and 7/7 were perpetrated by 'Muslim fanatics'. Ian does not offer specifi answers .......... but for those who truly value the concept of democracy, it is imperative that they are aware of these extremely important but as yet unanswered questions.«

Seems the attack dogs have been loosed on this comments page! Ian Crane has apparently hit a nerve, witrh this outstanding summary of 9/11 & 7/7. He doesn't jump to any conclusions, he simply points out that that there are concerns which need to be properly investigated. To dismiss these concerns would demonstrate a serious lack of intellectual curiosity.

Mar 22, 2007
Peter Power did not ''look after the events of 7/7''. He was running an on PAPER exercise in a room full of crisis managers and they went through the drills associated with this type of ON PAPER training exercise. That's his job - he trains people to prepare their companies for events such as terror attacks. Anyone training for a crisis such as a terror attack would look at simulataneous bombings after Madrid! You'd probabaly pick - Kings Cross, Liverpool St and another station... *Dur* again.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

US American Proto Fascism

It is an old story...

"No people ever recognize their dictator in advance. He never stands for election on the platform of dictatorship. He always represents himself as the instrument [of] the Incorporated National Will. ... When our dictator turns up you can depend on it that he will be one of the boys, and he will stand for everything traditionally American. And nobody will ever say 'Heil' to him, nor will they call him 'Führer' or 'Duce.' But they will greet him with one great big, universal, democratic, sheeplike bleat of 'O.K., Chief! Fix it like you wanna, Chief! Oh Kaaaay!'" (1935)

"Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the presence of creative alternatives for responding to conflict."

Public enemy

Sinclair Lewis's 1935 novel 'It Can't Happen Here' envisioned an America in thrall to a homespun facist dictator. Newly reissued, it's as unsettling a read as ever.

(Hadley Hooper)

PICTURE THIS: A folksy, self-consciously plainspoken Southern politician rises to power during a period of profound unrest in America. The nation is facing one of the half-dozen or so of its worst existential crises to date, and the people, once sunny, confident, and striving, are now scared, angry, and disillusioned.

This politician, a ''Professional Common Man,'' executes his rise by relentlessly attacking the liberal media, fancy-talking intellectuals, shiftless progressives, pinkos, promiscuity, and welfare hangers-on, all the while clamoring for a return to traditional values, to love of country, to the pie-scented days of old when things made sense and Americans were indisputably American. He speaks almost entirely in ''noble but slippery abstractions''-Liberty, Freedom, Equality-and people love him, even if they can't fully articulate why without resorting to abstractions themselves.

Through a combination of factors-his easy bearing chief among them (along with massive cash donations from Big Business; disorganization in the liberal opposition; a stuffy, aloof opponent; and support from religious fanatics who feel they've been unfairly marginalized)-he wins the presidential election.

Once in, he appoints his friends and political advisers to high-level positions, stocks the Supreme Court with ''surprisingly unknown lawyers who called [him] by his first name,'' declaws Congress, allows Big Business to dictate policy, consolidates the media, and fills newspapers with ''syndicated gossip from Hollywood.'' Carping newspapermen worry that America is moving backward to a time when anti-German politicians renamed sauerkraut ''Liberty Cabbage'' and ''hick legislators...set up shop as scientific experts and made the world laugh itself sick by forbidding the teaching of evolution,'' but newspaper readers, wary of excessive negativity, pay no mind.

Given the nature of ''powerful and secret enemies'' of America-who are ''planning their last charge'' to take away our freedom-an indefinite state of crisis is declared, and that freedom is stowed away for safekeeping. When the threat passes, we can have it back, but in the meantime, citizens are asked to ''bear with'' the president.

Sure, some say these methods are extreme, but the plain folks are tired of wishy-washy leaders, and feel the president's decisiveness is its own excuse. Besides, as one man says, a fascist dictatorship ''couldn't happen here in America...we're a country of freemen!''

. . .

While more paranoid readers might be tempted to draw parallels between this scenario and sundry predicaments we may or may not be in right now, the story line is actually that of Sinclair Lewis's 1935 novel ''It Can't Happen Here,'' a hastily written cautionary note about America's potential descent into fascism, recently reissued by New American Library in a handsome trade edition with a blood-spattered cover design.

The book, though regarded as a departure for Lewis, bears all the trappings of the writer in his prime. Lewis made his name, and his fortune, writing scathing indictments of an America enamored of materialism and mediocrity in the prosperous '20s; he won America's first Nobel Prize for Literature for it. From ''Main Street'' to ''Babbitt,'' ''Arrowsmith'' to ''Elmer Gantry,'' there was no instance of egregious Rotarianism or middle-class hypocrisy he wouldn't gleefully assail. Lewis was so successful in these forays that the eponymous protagonist of ''Babbitt,'' whom Lewis held up as the embodiment of all that was wrong with middle-class America in the '20s, saw his name transformed into a widely used pejorative.

At its center, ''It Can't Happen Here'' is no different from these prior efforts. It's just carried out on a bigger, more hyperbolic scale: Lewis takes that Babbitt mentality-the entrenched incuriosity, the smug certitude, the conformity, the complacency-and combines it with the growing desperation of the times to envision an end of America as we know it.

It's an unsettling read, especially in a day and age where wags and politicos on both sides compulsively accuse one another of plotting to destroy America. Other such books, most recently Philip Roth's ''The Plot Against America,'' ask whether a fascist dictatorship can happen here. But whereas Roth manipulates history in order to show what could have happened, imagining an America so blinded by celebrity adulation that it elects an isolationist, anti-Semitic Charles Lindbergh president, Lewis suggests that it already has happened, in little pockets all over America: in bridge club meetings, Rotary luncheons. No invading army will be needed to turn America fascist. Instead, the catalyst will come from within, and when it does it will speak colloquial American, and it will come waving the Stars and Stripes.

. . .

However broad its themes, ''It Can't Happen Here'' echoes its time, sometimes literally. The Depression was dragging on, the New Deal was on the rocks, FDR was vulnerable, and the GOP had foundered. People were desperate for strong leadership, and as a result there was a real threat coming from numerous quasi-populist movements led by fire-breathing demagogues promising deliverance.

Among these groups was the Share Our Wealth movement, spearheaded by Senator Huey Long, a former Louisiana governor best known as the inspiration for Willie Stark in Robert Penn Warren's ''All the King's Men.''

Long sought to radically redistribute the nation's wealth and impose an income gap, which, while socialist on its face, was more a cynical ploy for votes than a fast-held ideology. Equally prominent was sulfurous radio personality Father Charles Coughlin's Union of Social Justice, a nativist movement that proposed abolishing the Federal Reserve to reverse the Depression. Both groups were as corrupt as they were illogical, and FDR feared they would combine, unseat him, and replace American democracy with a strain of Hitlerism suited to America's unique temperament.

Driven by his support of Roosevelt and informed by the insights of his second wife, Dorothy Thompson, a pioneering journalist who more than anyone helped bring home the full horrors of Hitler's rise, Lewis cranked out the book in two months in 1935, in the hope that it would help avert what he felt was a looming catastrophe. In order to do so effectively, though, he would have to mine the collective prejudices and disenchantments inherent in the American character.

Enter Berzelius ''Buzz'' Windrip, Lewis's tyrant. He's a regular guy, personable, plainspoken, ''with something of the earthy American sense of humor of a Mark Twain...a Will Rogers.'' Guided by his secretary Lee Sarason, he cozies up to the electorate by stoking their disdain for fancy ideas and encouraging them to follow their hearts, not their minds.

Windrip's economic policies are disastrous, his figures often incorrect, and his platform seems to change depending on who he's talking to, but none of that matters as long as he keeps expressing himself decisively. ''I want to stand up on my hind legs,'' he writes in ''Zero Hour,'' his widely read pre-campaign book, ''and not just admit but frankly holler right out that...we've got to change our system a lot, maybe even change the whole Constitution (but change it legally, not by violence)....The Executive has got to have a freer hand and be able to move quick in an emergency, and not be tied down by dumb shyster lawyer congressmen taking months to shoot off their mouths in debates.''

When Windrip is elected, all hell breaks loose. Dissent is crushed, the Bill of Rights is gutted, war is declared (on Mexico), and labor camps are established to help shore up Windrip's vaunted ''New Freedom,'' which is more like a freedom from freedom. All that's really left of the old America are the flags and patriotic ditties, which for many is more than enough. But to Lewis it's not entirely the fault of those who will gladly abide America's principles being gutted. The blame also falls on the ''it can't happen here'' crowd, those yet to realize that being American doesn't change your human nature; whatever it is that attracts people to tyranny is in Americans like it's in anyone else.

When Lewis embarked on ''It Can't Happen Here,'' his wife wondered if a dictatorship could happen in this country, whether complacent Babbitt, as she put it, could be taught to march ''quickly enough.'' It was a question that Lewis had already answered. There's a scene in ''Babbitt'' where the title character blows up at his wife and admits for the first time in years that he's not as thrilled with his lot as he lets on. His wife soothes him and sends him off to bed, where, ''For many minutes, for many hours, for a bleak eternity, he lay awake, shivering, reduced to primitive terror, comprehending that he had won freedom, and wondering what he could do with anything so unknown and so embarrassing as freedom.''

In other words, the marching is just pageantry. Windrip's most formidable task, convincing Americans to renounce bedrock democratic principles, was already accomplished well before he took power. It was just waiting for its moment.

Sinclair Lewis

It Can't Happen Here is a semi-satirical political novel by Sinclair Lewis published in 1935. It features newspaperman Doremus Jessup struggling against the fascist regime of President Berzelius "Buzz" Windrip, who resembles Gerald B. Winrod, the Kansas evangelist whose far-right views earned him the nickname "The Jayhawk Nazi". It serves as a warning that political movements akin to Nazism can come to power in countries such as the United States when people blindly support their leaders.

In 1936, Lewis and John C. Moffitt wrote a play version, also titled It Can't Happen Here, which is still produced. The stage version premiered on October 27, 1936 in several U.S. cities simultaneously, in productions sponsored by the Federal Theater Project.

A 1968 television movie, Shadow on the Land (alternate title: United States: It Can't Happen Here) was produced by Screen Gems as a pilot for a series loosely based on this book. At the time it was decried by critics (such as TV Guide's Cleveland Amory) as preposterous, since Americans would never allow the events and situations in the film to occur.

Inspired by the book, director–producer Kenneth Johnson wrote an adaptation titled Storm Warnings, in 1982. The script was presented to NBC, for production as a television mini-series, but the NBC executives rejected the initial version, claiming it was too 'cerebral' for the average American viewer. To make the script more marketable, the American fascists were re-cast as anthropophagic extraterrestrials, taking the story into the realm of science fiction. The new, re-cast story was the mini-series V, which premiered on May 3, 1983.

Poster for the stage adaptation of It Can't Happen Here, Oct. 27, 1936 at the Lafayette Theater as part of the Detroit Federal Theater

Sinclair Lewis (February 7 1885 – January 10 1951) was an American novelist, short-story writer, and playwright. In 1930, he became the first American to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, "for his vigorous and graphic art of description and his ability to create, with wit and humor, new types of characters." His works are known for their insightful and critical views of American society and capitalist values, as well as their strong characterizations of modern working women.

Lewis's first published book was Hike and the Aeroplane, a Tom Swift-style potboiler that appeared in 1912 under the pseudonym Tom Graham. In 1914 he married Grace Livingston Hegger, who was an editor at Vogue magazine. His first serious novel, Our Mr. Wrenn: The Romantic Adventures of a Gentle Man, appeared in 1914, followed by The Trail of the Hawk: A Comedy of the Seriousness of Life (1915) and The Job (1917). That same year also saw the publication of another potboiler, The Innocents: A Story for Lovers, an expanded version of a serial story that had originally appeared in Woman's Home Companion. Free Air, another refurbished serial story, was published in 1919.

Commercial success

Upon moving to Washington, D.C., Lewis devoted himself to his writing. As early as 1916, Lewis began taking notes for a realistic novel about small-town life. Work on that novel continued through mid-1920, when he completed Main Street which was published on October 23, 1920.[3] As his biographer Mark Schorer wrote, the phenomenal success of Main Street "was the most sensational event in twentieth-century American publishing history."[4] Based on sales of his prior books, Lewis's most optimistic projection was a sale of 25,000 copies. In the first six months of 1921 alone, Main Street sold 180,000 copies, and within a few years sales were estimated at two million.[5] According to Richard Lingeman "Main Street earned Sinclair Lewis about three million current [2002] dollars".[citation needed]

He followed up this first great success with Babbitt (1922), a novel that satirized the American commercial culture and boosterism. The story was set in the fictional Zenith, Winnemac, a setting Lewis would return to in future novels, including Gideon Planish and Dodsworth.

Lewis' success in the 1920s continued with Arrowsmith (1925), a novel about an idealistic doctor, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize (which he refused). Elmer Gantry (1927), which depicted evangelicalism as hypocritical, was denounced by religious leaders and was banned in some U.S. cities. He divorced his first wife, Grace Hegger Lewis, in 1925, and married Dorothy Thompson, a political newspaper columnist, on May 14, 1928. Together they had a son in 1930, actor Michael Lewis, but they divorced in 1942. Lewis closed out the decade with Dodsworth (1929), a novel about the most affluent and successful members of American society leading essentially pointless lives in spite of their great wealth and advantages.

Lewis also spent much of the late 1920s and 1930s writing short stories for various magazines and publications. One of his short stories published in Cosmopolitan magazine was "Little Bear Bongo" (1936), a tale about a bear cub who wanted to escape the circus in search of a better life in the real world.[6] The story was acquired by Walt Disney Pictures in 1940 for a possible feature film. World War II sidetracked those plans until 1947, when the story (now titled "Bongo") was placed on a shorter length as a part of the Disney feature Fun and Fancy Free.

Nobel Prize

In 1930, Lewis won the Nobel Prize in Literature in his first year of nomination. In the Swedish Academy's presentation speech, special attention was paid to Babbitt. In his Nobel Lecture, he praised Theodore Dreiser, Willa Cather, Ernest Hemingway, and other contemporaries, but also lamented that "in America most of us — not readers alone, but even writers — are still afraid of any literature which is not a glorification of everything American, a glorification of our faults as well as our virtues," and that America is "the most contradictory, the most depressing, the most stirring, of any land in the world today."

Later years

After winning the Nobel Prize, Lewis published nine more novels in his lifetime, the best remembered being It Can't Happen Here, a novel about the election of a fascist U.S. President. He was married to Dorothy Thompson until 1942, but the marriage effectively ended in 1937. Lewis died in Rome on January 10, 1951, aged 65, from advanced alcoholism and his cremated remains were buried in Sauk Centre. A final novel, World So Wide, was published posthumously.