It has long been suspected that the Saudi Arabian government was involved in the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States and that are supporting Sunni terrorism throughout the Middle East. Yet, the US government has continued to support them with billions of dollars in military aid. Now, on the heels of President Barack Obama’s …
Tag: global war on terror
Apr 15 2016
Aug 07 2013
Strange, the US intelligence agencies didn’t intercept any communications warning of the prison breaks but have info on alleged “imminent attacks.”
Yemen on ‘high alert’ over warning of imminent al-Qaida attack
by Ian Black, The Guardian
US personnel flown out of country as reports claim ‘extraordinary and unprecedented’ security measures in force in capital Sana’a
Yemeni security forces have been put on high alert amid warnings of an imminent attack by al-Qaida in Sana’a, as the US and Britain withdrew embassy staff and urged their citizens to leave the country.
BBC Arabic quoted a Yemeni security source as saying that “extraordinary and unprecedented” security measures had been put in place, with armoured vehicles deployed at the presidential palace and other sensitive government and foreign installations in Yemen’s capital.
Dozens of al-Qaida operatives were said to have streamed into Sana’a in the last few days, apparently to take part in a terrorist attack, the BBC said. The Yemeni claim could not be independently confirmed.
US embassy closures used to bolster case for NSA surveillance programs
by Spencer Ackerman and Dan Roberts, The Guardian
Congress told that NSA monitoring led to interception of al-Qaida threats but privacy campaigners fear ulterior political motives
US embassies in the Middle East are to remain closed for the rest of the week as supporters of the National Security Agency’s sweeping surveillance powers used the unspecified terror alert to bolster the case against reining in the controversial measures.
The closures follow the alleged interception of al-Qaida communications in Yemen, which intelligence committee members in Congress have been told were collected overseas using powers granted to the NSA under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act – not the bulk surveillance programs disclosed by the Guardian and the Washington Post thanks to whistleblower Edward Snowden.
A privacy group questioned the publicity given to the latest alert after the State Department announced on Sunday evening that the number of embassies and consulates closed “out of an abundance of caution”
would be increased, with some remaining shut for up to a week.
Rebublican senator Saxby Chambliss said the NSA had identified threats that were the most serious for years and akin to levels of “terrorist chatter” picked up before 9/11.
On Democracy Now!, journalist for The Guardian, Glenn Greenwald discusses the latest terrorist treats and the closings ogf US embassies int the the region.
Transcript can be read here
The Obama administration has announced it will keep 19 diplomatic posts in North Africa and the Middle East closed for up to a week, due to fears of a possible militant threat. On Sunday, Senator Saxby Chambliss, the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said the decision to close the embassies was based on information collected by the National Security Agency. “If we did not have these programs, we simply would not be able to listen in on the bad guys,” Chambliss said, in a direct reference to increasing debate over widespread spying of all Americans revealed by Glenn Greenwald of The Guardian. “Nobody has ever questioned or disputed that the U.S. government, like all governments around the world, ought to be eavesdropping and monitoring the conversations of people who pose an actual threat to the United States in terms of plotting terrorist attacks,” Greenwald says.
May 22 2013
The Authorization to Use Military Force is a joint resolution passed by the United States Congress on September 14, 2001, authorizing the use of United States Armed Forces against those responsible for the attacks on September 11, 2001. During a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Pentagon officials testified that the authorization would be needed for another 10 to 20 years and could be used anywhere from “Boston to FATA (Pakistan’s federally administered tribal areas).” According to the interpretation of these officials this could be done under the current AUMF without any further authorization from Congress. Those claims elicited disbelief, even from war hawk Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) who said, “For you to come here and say we don’t need to change it or revise or update it, I think is, well, disturbing.”
Indeed, but disturbing is an understatement, but none of the Senators suggested that the powers under the AUMF be dialed back.
Testifying before the committee on May 16 were Assistant Defense Secretary Michael Sheehan; Robert Taylor, the acting general counsel for the Department of Defense; Brig. Gen. Richard Gross, Legal Counsel, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and Gen. Michael Nagata, Deputy Director for Special Operations/Counterterrorism, J-37, Joint Staff
This excerpt of the hearing from Democracy Now includes Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC); Robert Taylor, acting general counsel, Department of Defense; Michael Sheehan, assistant secretary of defense for special operations/low-intensity conflict, Department of Defense; and Sen. Angus King (I-Maine).
Transcript is here
From Glenn Greenwald at the Guardian on Pres. Obama’s permanent war on terror:
That the Obama administration is now repeatedly declaring that the “war on terror” will last at least another decade (or two) is vastly more significant than all three of this week’s big media controversies (Benghazi, IRS, and AP/DOJ) combined. The military historian Andrew Bacevich has spent years warning that US policy planners have adopted an explicit doctrine of “endless war”. Obama officials, despite repeatedly boasting that they have delivered permanently crippling blows to al-Qaida, are now, as clearly as the English language permits, openly declaring this to be so.
It is hard to resist the conclusion that this war has no purpose other than its own eternal perpetuation. This war is not a means to any end but rather is the end in itself. Not only is it the end itself, but it is also its own fuel: it is precisely this endless war – justified in the name of stopping the threat of terrorism – that is the single greatest cause of that threat. [..]
The genius of America’s endless war machine is that, learning from the unplesantness of the Vietnam war protests, it has rendered the costs of war largely invisible. That is accomplished by heaping all of the fighting burden on a tiny and mostly economically marginalized faction of the population, by using sterile, mechanized instruments to deliver the violence, and by suppressing any real discussion in establishment media circles of America’s innocent victims and the worldwide anti-American rage that generates.
Though rarely visible, the costs are nonetheless gargantuan. Just in financial terms, as Americans are told they must sacrifice Social Security and Medicare benefits and place their children in a crumbling educational system, the Pentagon remains the world’s largest employer and continues to militarily outspend the rest of the world by a significant margin. The mythology of the Reagan presidency is that he induced the collapse of the Soviet Union by luring it into unsustainable military spending and wars: should there come a point when we think about applying that lesson to ourselves?
Then there are the threats to Americans’ security. Having their government spend decades proudly touting itself as “A Nation at War” and bringing horrific violence to the world is certain to prompt more and more people to want to attack Americans, as the US government itself claims took place just recently in Boston (and as clearly took place multiple other times over the last several years). [..]
The Obama administration already claims the power to wage endless and boundless war, in virtually total secrecy, and without a single meaningful check or constraint. No institution with any power disputes this. To the contrary, the only ones which exert real influence – Congress, the courts, the establishment media, the plutocratic class – clearly favor its continuation and only think about how further to enable it. That will continue unless and until Americans begin to realize just what a mammoth price they’re paying for this ongoing splurge of war spending and endless aggression.
Harvard Law professor and former Bush DOJ official Jack Goldsmith, who also testified, wrote this at the end of his brief summery of the hearing:
My general impression of the hearing was that (1) DOD officials were very uncomfortable talking about how they interpret the AUMF and what groups are covered by it, (2) those officials interpret the AUMF very broadly, and (3) several members of the Committee were surprised by the breadth of DOD’s interpretation of the AUMF. I came away thinking that Congress cannot address the problem of extra-AUMF threats until it gets a handle on how the AUMF is being interpreted and deployed. I also came away thinking more than ever that Congress needs to re-engage in a serious way about the nature and scope of the conflict against al Qaeda and affiliates. Amazingly, there is a very large question even in the Armed Services Committee about who the United States is at war against and where, and how those determinations are made.
The solutions are for Congress to repeal the AUMF or for the Supreme Court to declare it unconstitutional. Don’t hold your breath for either of those things happening.
Sep 15 2009
This was just reported on ABC World News and apparently ABC Good Morning America also had a report this morning, video from that below.
EXCERPT: Jon Krakauer’s ‘Where Men Win Glory’
Krakauer Investigates the Life and Death of American Football Hero Pat Tillman
Patrick Tillman, former NFL player, made national headlines when he gave up his lucrative sports career to join the U.S. Army Rangers.
Sep 11 2009
It’s September 11 all over again – eight years on. The George W Bush administration is out. The “global war on terror” is still on, renamed “overseas contingency operations” by the Barack Obama administration. Obama’s “new strategy” – a war escalation – is in play in AfPak. Osama bin Laden may be dead or not. “Al-Qaeda” remains a catch-all ghost entity. September 11 – the neo-cons’ “new Pearl Harbor” – remains the darkest jigsaw puzzle of the young 21st century.
It’s useless to expect US corporate media and the ruling elites’ political operatives to call for a true, in-depth investigation into the attacks on the US on September 11, 2001. Whitewash has been the norm. But even establishment highlight Dr Zbig “Grand Chessboard” Brzezinski, a former national security advisor, has admitted to the US Senate that the post-9/11 “war on terror” is a “mythical historical narrative”.
The following questions, some multi-part – and most totally ignored by the 9/11 Commission – are just the tip of the immense 9/11 iceberg. A hat tip goes to the indefatigable work of 911truth.org; whatreallyhappened.com; architects and engineers for 9/11 truth; the Italian documentary Zero: an investigation into 9/11; and Asia Times Online readers’ e-mails.
None of these questions has been convincingly answered – according to the official narrative. It’s up to US civil society to keep up the pressure. Eight years after the fact, one fundamental conclusion is imperative. The official narrative edifice of 9/11 is simply not acceptable.
Jun 18 2009
Is this Global War on Terror going to last forever? Has it already changed our nation from an historically defensive Athens to an offensive Sparta whose military looks everywhere for trouble and finds it? Who is calculating the cost-to-benefit ratio of sending Green Berets and other Special Operations troopers into remote corners of the world to assassinate suspected terrorists?
Ever since the Vietnam War, our presidents have ushered members of Congress into the grandstand where they can boo or cheer military decisions but not make them, despite what the Constitution says right there in Article 1, Section 8: “The Congress shall have power to provide for the common defense.”
Jan 24 2009
The inaugural address delivered by Barack Obama Tuesday has elicited a torrent of commentary, in the US and around the world. Some of the most deluded and dishonest comments issue from the pages of the New York Times, the “newspaper of record” and voice of American liberalism.
Aug 08 2008
cross posted from The Dream Antilles
A continuation of an idea. Remember my essay that mentioned the Uruguayan writer Juan Carlos Onetti? I thought not. It’s OK. It was about what happened to various writers when their countries decided that what they wrote was unacceptable. The piece was an inquiry about whether that kind of police state might be growing in the US.
Here’s an excerpt:
[Onetti] went on to become one of Latin America’s most distinguished writers, earning Uruguay’s National Prize in literature in 1962. In 1974, he and some of his colleagues were imprisoned by the military dictatorship. Their crime: as members of the jury, they had chosen Nelson Marra’s short story El guardaespaldas (i.e. “The bodyguard”) as the winner of Marcha’s annual literary contest. Due to a series of misunderstandings (and the need to fill some space in the following day’s edition), El guardaespaldas was published in Marcha, although it had been widely agreed among them that they shouldn’t and wouldn’t do so, knowing this would be the perfect excuse for the military to intervene Marcha, considering the subject of the story (the interior monologue of a top-rank military officer who recounts his murders and atrocious behavior, much as it was happening with the functioning regime).
Onetti left his native country (and his much-loved city of Montevideo) after being imprisoned for 6 months in Colonia Etchepare, a mental institution. A long list of world-famous writers-including Gabriel García Márquez, Mario Vargas Llosa and Mario Benedetti-signed open letters addressed to the military government of Uruguay, which was unaware of the talented (and completely harmless) writer it had imprisoned and humiliated.
As soon as he was released, Onetti fled to Spain with his wife, violin player Dorotea Mühr.
Join me in Spain.
Jul 03 2008
Have you ever wondered why…
… it has been the practice of the major media to avoid mentioning oil in connection with military activity in Iraq; something also common in the Congress, all following the lead of the Bush administration.
Shouldn’t we all be shocked then? Shouldn’t we be shocked to learn, after the US – British led invasion of Iraq to save the world from the dangers of Saddam’s non-existant WMDs, struck Iraq with a shock and awe which was to have become the centerpiece for a GWOT, that as Reuters reported on Tuesday:
Iraq opened its giant oilfields to foreign firms on Monday, putting British and U.S. companies in pole position five years after U.S.-led troops invaded the country to oust Saddam Hussein.
Sep 10 2007
this is the cspan website description of today’s hearing:
Status of War in Iraq
Washington, District of Columbia (United States)
ID: 200890 – 09/10/2007 – 6:00 – No Sale
Skelton, Ike U.S. Representative, D-MO
Lantos, Tom U.S. Representative, D-CA
Petraeus, David H. Commander, Multinational Force-Iraq
Crocker, Ryan C. Ambassador, United States, Iraq
A Joint Committee hearing on the status of the war in Iraq and political developments there was held to hear a report by the commanding general and the U.S. ambassador on conditions in Iraq.
really catches the scope and feeling of the whole thing, doesnt it? (that line is blatantly paraphrased from ‘harry potter and the deathly hallows’)