Terrorism Media Articles
Excerpts of Key Terrorism Media Articles from Major Media
Below are many highly revealing excerpts of important terrorism articles reported in the mainstream media suggesting a cover-up.
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to revealing excerpts of key major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.
The blind theology of militarism
2013-02-17, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
Drone war proponents are facing inconvenient truths. This month, for instance, they are facing a new United Nations report showing that President Obama's escalation of the Afghanistan War - in part by an escalation in drone air strikes - is killing hundreds of children "due notably to reported lack of precautionary measures and indiscriminate use of force." Drone-war cheerleaders will no doubt find this news difficult to explain away. Sen. Angus King [justified] the drone war earlier this month. "Drones are a lot more civilized than what we used to do," he told a cable television audience. "I think it's actually a more humane weapon because it can be targeted to specific enemies and specific people." Designed to obscure mounting civilian casualties, King's phrase "humane weapon" is the crux of the larger argument. The idea is that an intensifying drone war is necessary - and even humane! - because it is more surgical than violent global ground war, which is supposedly America's only other option. In a country whose culture so often (wrongly) portrays bloodshed as the most effective problem solver, many Americans hear this now-ubiquitous drone-war argument and reflexively agree with its suppositions. By deliberately ignoring any other less violent option, drone-war proponents who employ choice-narrowing language are ... precluding America from making more prudent, informed and dispassionate national security decisions - the kind that might stop us from repeating the worst mistakes of our own history.
Note: For a revealing 27-minute documentary on drones which operate in swarms and pose serious ethical questions in both peace and war, click here.
The co-author of ‘Hubris’ on torture, secrets–and what we still don’t know
NBC News National Investigative Correspondent Michael Isikoff co-authored the best-selling book Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War with David Corn. Their book is the basis for the new MSNBC documentary, "Hubris: Selling the Iraq War". The reporting ... at a time when the movie "Zero Dark Thirty" has drawn attention to the issue, shows viewers the role that torture played in intelligence-gathering after 9/11. The real-life role of torture in pre-Iraq war intelligence, which is reported in Hubris, has far scarier implications than the Hollywood version. MSNBC: What was the single most shocking thing you discovered? [Isikoff:] I still find the Ibn Shaykh al-Libi story ... the most shocking of all. At first, he’s questioned by the FBI–then “rendered” by the CIA in early 2002 to Egypt, where he was subjected to torture: beatings [and] a mock burial. He suddenly coughed up a story–that Iraq was training al-Qaida members in chemical and biological weapons–that nobody in the U.S. intelligence community really believed. The CIA internally even wrote an assessment concluding that al-Libi was likely fabricating much of what he told the Egyptians. Yet suddenly in September 2002, the White House starts using the claim that Iraq is training al-Qaida in “poisons and gases”–a claim based entirely on al-Libi. After the war, al-Libi is returned to U.S. custody and recants the whole thing, saying he made it up because the Egyptians were torturing him. Anybody who saw "Zero Dark Thirty" and thinks it vindicates waterboarding and other “enhanced interrogation techniques” should watch "Hubris".
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on torture and other war crimes committed by the US, click here.
Former airline pilot and conspiracy theorist 'shot dead his two teenage children and his dog before turning the gun on himself'
2013-02-07, Daily Mail
A pilot who wrote a conspiracy theory book about 9/11 is dead after he shot his two teenage children and family dog before turning the gun on himself. Relatives and friends of Phillip Marshall were stunned by the violent crime which took place in Calaveras County on [Feb. 2]. The tragedy came as a shock for those living in the small town. The former airline pilot's controversial conspiracy book The Big Bamboozle: 9/11 and the War on Terror was released last year. While he was writing it, Marshall believed that his life was in danger because of the allegations involved. According to [the] Santa Barbara View, during the editing and pre-marketing process of Marshall’s book, he expressed some degree of paranoia because the nonfiction work accused the George W. Bush administration of being in cahoots with the Saudi intelligence community in training the hijackers who died in the planes used in the attacks. Amazon says about Philip Marshall: 'A veteran airline captain and former government "special activities" contract pilot, he has authored three books on "Top Secret America," a group presently conducting business as the United States Intelligence Community. Marshall has studied and written [about] covert government special activities and the revolving door of Wall Street tricksters, media moguls, and their well funded politicians. He is the leading aviation expert on the September 11th attack.'
Note: Does something smell fishy here? Don't miss the even more revealing article written in a local newspaper at this link which questions whether Marshall might have been killed because of his 9/11 conspiracy views.
To Kill an American
2013-02-06, New York Times
The newly disclosed “white paper” offering a legal reasoning behind the claim that President Obama has the power to order the killing of American citizens ... coyly describes another, classified document ... that actually provided the legal justification for ordering the killing of American citizens. That document still has not been provided to Congress, despite repeated demands from lawmakers. According to the white paper, the Constitution and the Congressional authorization for the use of force after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, gave Mr. Obama the right to kill any American citizen that an “informed, high-level official” decides is a “senior operational leader of Al Qaeda or an associated force” and presents an “imminent threat of violent attack.” It never tries to define what an “informed, high-level official” might be, and the authors of the memo seem to have redefined the word “imminent” in a way that diverges sharply from its customary meaning. It takes the position that the only “oversight” needed for such a decision resides within the executive branch, and there is no need to explain the judgment to Congress, the courts or the public — or, indeed, to even acknowledge that the killing took place. The paper argues that judges and Congress don’t have the right to rule on or interfere with decisions made in the heat of combat. The white paper “is a confusing blend of self-defense and law of war concepts” said Kate Martin, director of the Center for National Security Studies. “Its due process analysis is especially weak.”
Note: To read the entire 'white paper' on drone strikes on Americans, click here. For a more detailed analysis by a distinguished lawyer, click here. What this means is that if the president doesn't like someone and deems him an imminent threat, he can have that person killed and legally keep it all a secret. Is America drifting towards a police state?
US newspapers accused of complicity as drone report reopens security debate
2013-02-06, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
[The] New York Times and Washington Post ... are facing accusations of complicity after it emerged that they bowed to pressure from the Obama administration not to disclose the existence of a secret drone base in Saudi Arabia despite knowing about it for a year. Amid renewed scrutiny over the Obama administration's secrecy over its targeted killing programme, media analysts and national security experts said the revelation that some newspapers had co-operated over the drone base had reopened the debate over the balance between freedom of information and national security. One expert described the initial decision not to publish the base's location as "shameful and craven". Dr Jack Lule, a professor of journalism and communication at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, said that the national security implications did not merit holding on to the story.
"The decision not to publish is a shameful one. The national security standard has to be very high, perhaps imminent danger," he said. The Obama administration has resisted any effort to open up its targeted killing programme to public scrutiny. The White House legal advice on the assassinations program, including the killing of a US citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki, has been withheld from the public and Congress, despite repeated requests to make it public. Lule said that in not publishing the location of the base when it had the information, the newspaper had failed in its responsibility to the public. "It happened at the top ranks of the media, too. They should have been leading the pack in calling for less secrecy. For them to give up that post is terrible."
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on major media coverups, click here.
CIA rendition: more than a quarter of countries 'offered covert support'
2013-02-05, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
The full extent of the CIA's extraordinary rendition programme has been laid bare with the publication of a report showing there is evidence that more than a quarter of the world's governments covertly offered support. A 213-page report compiled by the Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI), a New York-based human rights organisation, says that at least 54 countries co-operated with the global kidnap, detention and torture operation that was mounted after 9/11, many of them in Europe. So widespread and extensive was the participation of governments across the world that it is now clear the CIA could not have operated its programme without their support, according to the OSJI. "Responsibility for these violations does not end with the United States. Secret detention and extraordinary rendition operations, designed to be conducted outside the United States under cover of secrecy, could not have been implemented without the active participation of foreign governments. These governments too must be held accountable." The states identified by the OSJI include those such as Pakistan, Afghanistan, Egypt and Jordan where the existence of secret prisons and the use of torture has been well documented for many years. But the OSJI's rendition list also includes states such as Ireland, Iceland and Cyprus, which are accused of granting covert support for the programme by permitting the use of airspace and airports by aircraft involved in rendition flights. Iran and Syria are identified by the OSJI as having participated in the rendition programme.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the illegal operations that comprise the 'global war on terror', click here.
Justice Department memo reveals legal case for drone strikes on Americans
2013-02-04, NBC News
A confidential Justice Department memo concludes that the U.S. government can order the killing of American citizens if they are believed to be “senior operational leaders” of al-Qaida or “an associated force” -- even if there is no intelligence indicating they are engaged in an active plot to attack the U.S. The 16-page memo ... provides new details about the legal reasoning behind one of the Obama administration’s most secretive and controversial polices: its dramatically increased use of drone strikes against al-Qaida suspects abroad, including those aimed at American citizens. In March, Attorney General Eric Holder specifically endorsed the constitutionality of targeted killings of Americans, saying they could be justified if government officials determine the target poses “an imminent threat of violent attack.” But the confidential Justice Department “white paper” introduces a ... “broader concept of imminence” than actual intelligence about any ongoing plot against the U.S. homeland. “The condition that an operational leader present an ‘imminent’ threat of violent attack against the United States does not require the United States to have clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future,” the memo states. Instead, it says, an “informed, high-level” official of the U.S. government may determine that the targeted American has been “recently” involved in “activities” posing a threat of a violent attack and “there is no evidence suggesting that he has renounced or abandoned such activities.” The memo does not define “recently” or “activities.”
Note: To read the entire 'white paper' on drone strikes on Americans, click here. For detailed analysis by a distinguished lawyer, click here.
JSOC: Obama's secret assassins
2013-02-03, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
The president has a clandestine network targeting a 'kill list' justified by secret laws. How is that different than a death squad? The film Dirty Wars, which premiered at Sundance ... tracks the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), a network of highly-trained, completely unaccountable US assassins, armed with ever-expanding "kill lists". [Narrator Jeremy] Scahill and [director Rick] Rowley track this new model of US warfare that strikes at civilians and insurgents alike – in 70 countries. They interview former JSOC assassins, who are shell-shocked at how the "kill lists" they are given keep expanding, even as they eliminate more and more people. Our conventional forces are subject to international laws of war: they are accountable for crimes in courts martial; and they run according to a clear chain of command. As much as the US military may fall short of these standards at times, it is a model of lawfulness compared with JSOC, which has far greater scope to undertake the commission of extra-legal operations – and unimaginable crimes. JSOC morphs the secretive, unaccountable mercenary model of private military contracting, which Scahill identified in Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army, into a hybrid with the firepower and intelligence backup of our full state resources. JSOC operates outside the traditional chain of command; it reports directly to the president of the United States. What does it means for the president to have an unaccountable paramilitary force, which can assassinate anyone anywhere in the world?
Note: For more on JSOC, click here.
Obama's non-closing of GITMO
2013-01-29, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
The New York Times ... reported yesterday that the State Department "reassigned Daniel Fried, the special envoy for closing the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and will not replace him". That move obviously confirms what has long been assumed: that the camp will remain open indefinitely. Dozens of the current camp detainees have long been cleared by Pentagon reviews for release - including Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif, a 36-year-old Yemeni who died at the camp in September after almost 11 years in a cage despite never having been charged with a crime. Like so many of his fellow detainees, his efforts to secure his release were vigorously (and successfully) thwarted by the Obama administration. What [makes] Guantánamo such a travesty of justice [is] not its geographic locale in the Caribbean Sea, but rather its system of indefinite detention: that people [are] put in cages, often for life, without any charges or due process. Obama's plan was to preserve and continue that core injustice - indefinite detention - but simply moved onto US soil. Put simply, Obama's plan was never to close Gitmo as much as it was to re-locate it to Illinois: to what the ACLU dubbed "Gitmo North". That's why ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero said of Obama's 2009 "close-Gitmo" plan that it "is hardly a meaningful step forward" and that "while the Obama administration inherited the Guantánamo debacle, this current move is its own affirmative adoption of those policies." That's because, he said, "the administration plans to continue its predecessor's policy of indefinite detention without charge or trial for some detainees, with only a change of location."
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on government attacks on civil liberties, click here.
Pentagon's new massive expansion of 'cyber-security' unit is about everything except defense
2013-01-28, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Cyber-threats are the new pretext to justify expansion of power and profit for the public-private National Security State. The Washington Post [reports] "a major expansion of [the Pentagon's] cybersecurity force over the next several years, increasing its size more than fivefold." Specifically, ... "the expansion would increase the Defense Department's Cyber Command by more than 4,000 people, up from the current 900." The Post describes this expansion as "part of an effort to turn an organization that has focused largely on defensive measures into the equivalent of an Internet-era fighting force." This Cyber Command Unit operates under the command of Gen. Keith Alexander, who also happens to be the head of the National Security Agency, the highly secretive government network that spies on the communications of foreign nationals - and American citizens. These activities pose a wide array of serious threats to internet freedom, privacy, and international law that, as usual, will be conducted with full-scale secrecy and with little to no oversight and accountability. And, as always, there is a small army of private-sector corporations who will benefit most from this expansion. The fear-mongering rhetoric from government officials has relentlessly intensified, all devoted to scaring citizens into believing that the US is at serious risk of cataclysmic cyber-attacks from "aggressors". This all culminated when Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, last October, warned of what he called a "cyber-Pearl Harbor". This "would cause physical destruction and the loss of life, an attack that would paralyze and shock the nation and create a profound new sense of vulnerability."
Note: Defense Secretary Panetta's warning of a 'cyber-Pearl Harbor' will surely serve as a reminder for many of the Project for the New American Century's call for a 'new Pearl Harbor' just a few months before 9/11. Is it likely that he was unaware of the baggage such language carries at present? For more on WantToKnow team member Prof. David Ray Griffin's epochal book The New Pearl Harbor, click here.
President of perpetual war
2013-01-24, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
Four years into his presidency, President Obama's political formula should be obvious. He gives fabulous speeches teeming with popular liberal ideas, often refuses to take the actions necessary to realize those ideas and then banks on most voters, activists, reporters and pundits never bothering to notice - or care about - his sleight of hand. Never was this formula more apparent than when the president discussed military conflicts during his second inaugural address. Declaring that "a decade of war is now ending," he insisted that he "still believe(s) that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war." Few seemed to notice that the words came from the same president who is manufacturing a state of "perpetual war." Obama, let's remember, is the president who escalated the Afghanistan War and whose spokesman recently reiterated that U.S. troops are not necessarily leaving that country anytime soon. He is the president who has initiated undeclared wars in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Libya. Just days before Obama's inaugural address declaring an end to war, the Washington Post reported that the administration's new manual establishing "clear rules" for counterterrorism operations specifically creates a "carve-out (that) would allow the CIA to continue" the president's intensifying drone war. That's the "perpetual war," you'll recall, in which Obama asserts the extra-constitutional right to compile a "kill list" and then order bombing raids of civilian areas in hopes of killing alleged militants - including U.S. citizens.
Note: Could it be that the military-industrial complex has significantly more power than the president? For powerful evidence of this from a high-ranking US general, click here.
Justice for the PayPal WikiLeaks protesters: why DDoS is free speech
2013-01-22, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
In December 2010, the hacktivist collective Anonymous voiced their displeasure with PayPal, over that company's part in the banking blockade of Wikileaks. A reported 10,000 protesters around the world took to the internet with a protest method known as DDoS (distributed denial of service) – the functional equivalent of repeatedly hitting the refresh button on a computer. With enough people refreshing enough times, the site is flooded with traffic, slowed, or even temporarily knocked offline. No damage is done to the site or its backing computer system; and when the protest is over, the site resumes business as usual. This is not "hacking". It is protest, and it is speech. Or it was … until the United States government decided to serve 42 warrants and indict 14 protesters. While protest charges have typically been seen as tantamount to nuisance crimes, like trespassing or loitering, these were different. The 14 PayPal defendants, some of whom were teenagers when the protest occurred, find themselves looking at 15 years in federal prison – for exercising their free speech rights; for redressing their grievances to PayPal, a major corporation; for standing up for what they believed was right. Instead of being handed a $50 fine, as one would face for traditional protest crimes such as a sit-in, the PayPal defendants' freedoms are in real jeopardy. Since the PayPal prosecution, there have been no DDoS protests on that scale. Speech has been chilled. Supreme court Justice William O Douglas said:
"Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us."
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on civil liberties, click here.
CIA to exempt strikes on Pakistan from drones codification
2013-01-20, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
John Brennan, the counter-terrorism adviser nominated by President Obama to be the next head of the CIA, has reportedly agreed to exempt agency strikes in Pakistan from a new set of rules that attempts to justify and codify the use of drones to assassinate leaders of al-Qaida and other terrorist groups around the world, including US citizens. The dispensation to allow so-called targeted killing to continue without restrictions in Pakistan removes from the new set of guidelines the most important and controversial target of drone strikes. In the past few weeks the frequency of US strikes in the tribal areas of northern Pakistan ... has been stepped up. The pass would allow the US to sustain heavy bombardments of the tribal regions via drones launched from bases in Afghanistan for another year or two, ahead of the withdrawal of most American forces from that country in 2014. The decision to give the US targeted-killing programme the appearance of legal propriety by codifying it, and now the temporary exemption granted from that codification to Pakistan, were both taken by Brennan. A counter-terrorism expert with 25 years experience in the CIA, his nomination to run the agency has raised eyebrows among civil liberties groups because of his senior role in the CIA under George W Bush at a time when torture was used on terror suspects and because of his fondness for drone strikes. The UK-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism estimates that there have been 362 drone strikes in the country since 2004 – 310 of them launched on Obama's watch. The strikes have killed up to 3,461 people.
Note: Imagine the uproar if another country killed innocent civilians in the US while using drones to kill terrorists in the country. Visit the Living Under Drones website here. For more analysis click here.
TSA removing 'virtual strip search' body scanners
Airport body scanners that produce graphic images of travelers' bodies will be removed from checkpoints by June, the Transportation Security Administration says, ending what critics called "virtual strip searches." Passengers will continue to pass through machines that display a generic outline of the human body, raising fewer privacy concerns. The TSA move came after Rapiscan, the manufacturer of the 174 so-called "backscatter" machines, acknowledged it could not meet a congressional-ordered deadline to install privacy software on the machines. "It is big news," said Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center. "It removes the concern that people are being viewed naked by the TSA screener." Currently, the TSA uses the 174 backscatter machines in 30 airports, and has another 76 units in storage. It uses millimeter wave machines in 170 airports. The decision to remove the backscatter machine will make moot, at least temporarily, travelers' concerns about the health effects of the machines. Backscatter machines use X-rays, while millimeter wave machines use radio waves. The TSA has long maintained both machines are safe, but recently signed an agreement with the National Academy of Sciences to study the scanners. The study will continue even though the machines are being pulled, the TSA said, because they could be reintroduced in the future.
Note: Each of those machines cost $175,000. Someone sure made a lot of money on these machines which had a very short lifespan.
The FBI and protesters, then and now
2013-01-18, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
Recently released FBI files about the Occupy movement do not reveal the kind of dirty tricks J. Edgar Hoover's bureau used against demonstrators in the Bay Area during the '60s, but they present some striking parallels to those dark days and have rightly raised concern among civil libertarians. The records ... show that over the decades the machinery of surveillance remains much the same, even as expanded intelligence powers and technological advances magnify potential abuse. As in the '60s, the FBI reports use sweeping language like "potential terrorist threat" to characterize nonviolent dissent. As then, the bureau exchanges information with a vast network of federal agencies, state and local police, campus cops and corporate security. And once again the FBI is invoking great secrecy. Such activity, Congress found in the '70s, contributed to massive intelligence abuses. The FBI released 99 heavily redacted pages and withheld 288 more in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, a public-interest legal organization in Washington, D.C. Even while noting Occupy organizers do "not condone the use of violence," the records show that FBI field offices across the nation collected information on the premise [that] the protests posed a potential "terrorist" or "criminal" threat. The bureau shared information on Occupy with police on joint terrorism task forces, which have raised concerns about skirting local surveillance restrictions, and with fusion centers, regional intelligence hubs recently criticized by Congress as violating civil liberties.
Note: The writer of this article, Seth Rosenfeld, is the author of Subversives: The FBI's War on Student Radicals, and Reagan's Rise to Power. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the games intelligence agencies play, click here.
Abu Ghraib torture lawsuit settled
2013-01-08, San Francisco Chronicle/Associated Press
A defense contractor whose subsidiary was accused in a lawsuit of conspiring to torture detainees at the infamous Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq has paid $5.28 million to 71 former inmates held there and at other U.S.-run detention sites between 2003 and 2007. The settlement in the case involving Engility Holdings Inc. of Chantilly, Va., marks the first successful effort by lawyers for former prisoners at Abu Ghraib and other detention centers to collect money from a U.S. defense contractor in lawsuits alleging torture. Another contractor, CACI, is expected to go to trial over similar allegations this summer. The defendant in the lawsuit, L-3 Services Inc., now an Engility subsidiary, provided translators to the U.S. military in Iraq. The former detainees filed the lawsuit in federal court in Greenbelt, Md., in 2008. L-3 Services "permitted scores of its employees to participate in torturing and abusing prisoners over an extended period of time throughout Iraq," the lawsuit stated. The company "willfully failed to report L-3 employees' repeated assaults and other criminal conduct by its employees to the United States or Iraq authorities." A military investigation in 2004 identified 44 alleged incidents of detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib. No employee from L-3 Services was charged with a crime in investigations by the U.S. Justice Department.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on corporate corruption, click here.
The 'war on terror' - by design - can never end
2013-01-04, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
In October, the Washington Post's Greg Miller reported that the administration was instituting a "disposition matrix" to determine how terrorism suspects will be disposed of, all based on this fact: "among senior Obama administration officials, there is broad consensus that such operations are likely to be extended at least another decade." As Miller puts it: "That timeline suggests that the United States has reached only the midpoint of what was once known as the global war on terrorism." The polices adopted by the Obama administration ... leave no doubt that they are accelerating, not winding down, the war apparatus that has been relentlessly strengthened over the last decade. In the name of the War on Terror, the current president has diluted decades-old Miranda warnings; codified a new scheme of indefinite detention on US soil; plotted to relocate Guantanamo to Illinois; increased secrecy, repression and release-restrictions at the camp; minted a new theory of presidential assassination powers even for US citizens; renewed the Bush/Cheney warrantless eavesdropping framework for another five years, as well as the Patriot Act, without a single reform; and just signed into law all new restrictions on the release of indefinitely held detainees. Does that sound to you like a government anticipating the end of the War on Terror any time soon? Or does it sound like one working feverishly to make their terrorism-justified powers of detention, surveillance, killing and secrecy permanent? There's a good reason US officials are assuming the "War on Terror" will persist indefinitely: namely, their actions ensure that this occurs.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the War on Terror, click here.
Cleric may have booked pre-9/11 flights for hijackers, FBI documents show
2013-01-03, Fox News
The FBI suspected within days of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that the American Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki may have purchased tickets for some of the hijackers for air travel in advance of the attacks, according to newly released documents. The heavily redacted records – obtained by Judicial Watch through a [FOIA] request – suggest the FBI held evidence tying the American-born cleric to the hijackers just 16 days after the attack that killed nearly 3,000 Americans. “We have FBI documents showing that the FBI knew that al-Awlaki had bought three tickets for three of the hijackers to fly into Florida and into Las Vegas, including the lead hijacker, Mohammad Atta,” Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, told Fox News. He added that the records show the cleric, killed in September 2011 by a U.S. drone strike in Yemen, “was a central focus of the FBI's investigation of 9/11. They show he wasn't cooperative. And they show that he was under surveillance.” The cleric was a guest speaker on moderate Islam at a Pentagon executive dining room in February 2002. The newly released documents now suggest the FBI knew five months earlier of al-Awlaki’s probable link to the hijackers. Al-Awlaki was held at New York City’s JFK airport on Oct. 10, 2002, under a warrant for passport fraud, a felony punishable by 10 years. However, ... an FBI agent, Wade Ammerman, from the bureau’s Washington field office ordered the cleric be released from custody, even though there was an active warrant for his arrest.
Note: Click here to view the more than 200 pages of documents obtained by Judicial Watch. Isn't it quite strange that the continuously monitored Al-Awlaki was breakfasting with the Pentagon brass and was released from custody by the FBI, after the 9/11 attacks? Could his assassination by drone have been for the purpose of keeping him quiet about what he knew concerning 9/11?
Secrecy of Memo on Drone Killing Is Upheld
2013-01-03, New York Times
A federal judge in Manhattan refused on [January 2] to require the Justice Department to disclose a memorandum providing the legal justification for the targeted killing of a United States citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki, who died in a drone strike in Yemen in 2011. The ruling, by Judge Colleen McMahon, was marked by skepticism about the antiterrorist program that targeted him, and frustration with her own role in keeping the legal rationale for it secret. “I can find no way around the thicket of laws and precedents that effectively allow the executive branch of our government to proclaim as perfectly lawful certain actions that seem on their face incompatible with our Constitution and laws while keeping the reasons for their conclusion a secret,” she wrote. “The Alice-in-Wonderland nature of this pronouncement is not lost on me,” Judge McMahon wrote, adding that she was operating in a legal environment that amounted to “a veritable Catch-22.”
Judge McMahon’s opinion included an overview of what she called “an extensive public relations campaign” by various government officials about the American role in the killing of Mr. Awlaki and the circumstances under which the government considers targeted killings, including of its citizens, to be lawful. The government’s public comments were as a whole “cryptic and imprecise,” Judge McMahon said. Even as she ruled against the plaintiffs, the judge wrote that the public should be allowed to judge whether the administration’s analysis holds water.
Note: For analysis of the significance of this reluctant court ruling upholding continued secrecy of the drone assassinations, click here.
Lawmakers say CIA may have misled ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ filmmakers on harsh interrogation
2013-01-03, Washington Post/Associated Press
Lawmakers accused the CIA of misleading the makers of the Osama bin Laden raid film “Zero Dark Thirty” by allegedly telling them that harsh interrogation methods helped track down the terrorist mastermind. The film shows waterboarding and similar techniques as important, if not key, to finding bin Laden in Pakistan, where he was killed by Navy SEALs in 2011. A Senate Intelligence Committee investigation into the CIA’s detainee program found that such methods produced no useful intelligence. In a letter to the CIA this week, Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., John McCain, R-Ariz., and others asked [the CIA] to share documents showing what the filmmakers were told. The senators contend that that the CIA detainee who provided the most accurate information about the courier who was tracked to bin Laden’s hiding place “provided the information prior to being subjected to coercive interrogation techniques,” according to a statement ... from Feinstein. The CIA says it will cooperate.
Note: Note that this "critique" of the CIA by US Senators serves to maintain the claim that Osama bin Laden was killed by the Navy SEALs raid in Pakistan in 2011. But there have been numerous reports of bin Laden's death before the "official" killing. Click here and here for two intriguing BBC reports on this. WantToKnow team member David Ray Griffin's book establishing the likelihood that Osama bin Laden died in December 2001, Osama bin Laden: Dead or Alive?, is available here.
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