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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For an index to revealing excerpts of media articles on several dozen engaging topics, click here
CIA's black sites, illuminated
2009-08-31, Los Angeles Times
The secret overseas "black sites" where the CIA conducted the interrogations are empty now, if not already dismantled. They were never examined by a congressional committee, nor inspected by the international Red Cross. The black sites not only imprisoned men but reduced them to a near helpless state. The aim, as outlined in one document, was to teach every detainee "to perceive and value his personal welfare, comfort and immediate needs more than the information he is protecting." The prisoners' arrival -- almost always in diapers -- was engineered to achieve that end. After being shaved, stripped and photographed nude, detainees were examined by CIA medical and psychological personnel. Then came a preliminary interrogation that would determine the prisoners' fate. Only those considered extremely cooperative would avoid a trio of techniques designed to produce a "baseline, dependent" state: the deprivation of clothes, solid food and sleep. Follow-up sessions would start with the prisoner standing with his back against a wall and a towel or collar to prevent whiplash wrapped around his neck. He could be thrown against the wall just once "to make a point, or 20 to 30 times consecutively." Prisoners so abhorred the repeated slamming that they would remain in so-called stress positions, such as painful kneeling postures, for hours to avoid a return to the wall, according to one Dec. 30, 2004, memo that amounts to a CIA blueprint for breaking a detainee's will. Earlier this year, the Obama administration released a series of Justice Department memos laying out legal rationales for the array of coercive interrogation methods the CIA employed.
Note: For further revelations from major media sources on the illegal methods used by the US government in its wars around the world, click here.
C.I.A. Abuse Cases Detailed in Report on Detainees
2009-08-25, New York Times
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. named a veteran federal prosecutor on Monday to examine abuse of prisoners held by the Central Intelligence Agency, after the Justice Department released a long-secret report showing interrogators choked a prisoner repeatedly and threatened to kill another detainee’s children. Mr. Holder chose John H. Durham, a prosecutor from Connecticut who has been investigating the C.I.A.’s destruction of interrogation videotapes, to determine whether a full criminal investigation of the conduct of agency employees or contractors was warranted. The attorney general said his decision to order an inquiry was based in part on the recommendation of the Justice Department’s ethics office, which called for a new review of several interrogation cases. He said he was also influenced by a 2004 report by the C.I.A. inspector general at the time, John L. Helgerson, on the agency’s interrogations. The report was released Monday under a court order in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. Although large portions of the 109-page report are blacked out, it gives new details about a variety of abuses inside the C.I.A.’s overseas prisons, including suggestions about sexually assaulting members of a detainee’s family, staging mock executions, intimidation with a handgun and power drill, and blowing cigar and cigarette smoke into prisoners’ faces to make them vomit. The inspector general’s review raised broad questions about the legality, political acceptability and effectiveness of the harshest of the C.I.A.’s methods, including some not authorized by the Justice Department and others that were approved, like the near-drowning technique of waterboarding.
Note: And what do you think might have been in the blacked out portions of the report? For lots more on the use of illegal methods by the CIA and US military in their prosecution of the "war on terror," click here.
Report Reveals CIA Conducted Mock Executions
2009-08-21, Newsweek magazine
A long-suppressed report by the Central Intelligence Agency's inspector general to be released next week reveals that CIA interrogators staged mock executions as part of the agency's post-9/11 program to detain and question terror suspects, NEWSWEEK has learned. The report describes how one detainee, suspected USS Cole bomber Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, was threatened with a gun and a power drill during the course of CIA interrogation. Nashiri's interrogators brandished the gun in an effort to convince him that he was going to be shot. Interrogators also turned on a power drill and held it near him. "The purpose was to scare him into giving [information] up," said one [source]. A federal law banning the use of torture expressly forbids threatening a detainee with "imminent death." The report also says ... that a mock execution was staged in a room next to a detainee, during which a gunshot was fired in an effort to make the suspect believe that another prisoner had been killed. The inspector general's report alludes to more than one mock execution. Before leaving office, Bush administration officials confirmed that Nashiri was one of three CIA detainees subjected to waterboarding. They also acknowledged that Nashiri was one of two Al Qaeda detainees whose detentions and interrogations were documented at length in CIA videotapes. But senior officials of the agency's undercover operations branch, the National Clandestine Service, ordered that the tapes be destroyed, an action that has been under investigation for more than a year by a federal prosecutor. The new revelations are contained in a lengthy report on the CIA interrogation program completed by the agency's inspector general in May 2004.
Note: For lots more from reliable sources on the illegal methods used by the CIA and US military in its wars of aggression in Iraq and Afghanistan, click here.
C.I.A. Sought Blackwater’s Help to Kill Jihadists
2009-08-20, New York Times
The Central Intelligence Agency in 2004 hired outside contractors from the private security contractor Blackwater USA as part of a secret program to locate and assassinate top operatives of Al Qaeda, according to current and former government officials. Executives from Blackwater ... helped the spy agency with planning, training and surveillance. The C.I.A. spent several million dollars on the program, which did not successfully capture or kill any terrorist suspects. It is unclear whether the C.I.A. had planned to use the contractors to actually capture or kill Qaeda operatives, or just to help with training and surveillance in the program. American spy agencies have in recent years outsourced some highly controversial work, including the interrogation of prisoners. But government officials said that bringing outsiders into a program with lethal authority raised deep concerns about accountability in covert operations. Officials said the C.I.A. did not have a formal contract with Blackwater for this program but instead had individual agreements with top company officials, including the founder, Erik D. Prince, a politically connected former member of the Navy Seals and the heir to a family fortune. Over the years, Blackwater has hired several former top C.I.A. officials, including Cofer Black, who ran the C.I.A. counterterrorism center immediately after the Sept. 11 attacks. C.I.A. operatives also regularly use the company’s training complex in North Carolina. The complex includes a shooting range used for sniper training.
Note: For many revealing reports from major media sources on the frequent use of assassinations to advance state objectives, click here.
A Window Into C.I.A.'s Embrace of Secret Jails
2009-08-13, New York Times
In March 2003, two C.I.A. officials surprised Kyle D. Foggo, then the chief of the agency's main European supply base, with an unusual request. They wanted his help building secret prisons to hold some of the world's most threatening terrorists. Mr. Foggo, nicknamed Dusty, ... agreed to the assignment. With that, Mr. Foggo went on to oversee construction of three detention centers, each built to house about a half-dozen detainees. The existence of the network of prisons to detain and interrogate [captives] has long been known, but details about them have been a closely guarded secret. In recent interviews, though, several former intelligence officials have provided a fuller account. Mr. Foggo acknowledged a role, which has never been previously reported. He pleaded guilty last year to a fraud charge involving a contractor that equipped the C.I.A. jails and provided other supplies to the agency, and he is now serving a three-year sentence in a Kentucky prison. Eventually, the agency's network would encompass at least eight detention centers, including one in the Middle East, one each in Iraq and Afghanistan and a maximum-security long-term site at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The C.I.A. has never officially disclosed the exact number of prisoners it once held, but top officials have put the figure at fewer than 100. Mr. Foggo's success in Frankfurt, including his work on the prisons, won him a promotion back in Washington. In November 2004, he was named the C.I.A.'s executive director, in effect its day-to-day administrative chief. "It was like taking a senior NCO and telling him he now runs the regiment," said A. B. Krongard, the C.I.A.'s executive director from 2001 to 2004. "It popped people's eyes."
Note: Kyle "Dusty" Foggo's case is highly unusual. Very few high-level CIA officers have ever been imprisoned for corruption. His predecessor as Executive Director of the CIA, quoted in the article above, A.B. "Buzzy" Krongard, who held the office on 9/11, had been the chief executive of a branch of the investment company which placed the still unexplained "put options" on American and United Airlines stocks the week before the attacks, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars of profits to "unknown" parties.
2 U.S. Architects of Harsh Tactics in 9/11's Wake
2009-08-12, New York Times
Jim Mitchell and Bruce Jessen were military retirees and psychologists, on the lookout for business opportunities. They found an excellent customer in the Central Intelligence Agency, where in 2002 they became the architects of the most important interrogation program in the history of American counterterrorism. They had never carried out a real interrogation, only mock sessions in the military training they had overseen. They had no relevant scholarship; their Ph.D. dissertations were on high blood pressure and family therapy. They had no language skills and no expertise on Al Qaeda. But they had psychology credentials. Seven months after President Obama ordered the C.I.A. interrogation program closed, its fallout still commands attention. In the next few weeks, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. is expected to decide whether to begin a criminal torture investigation, in which the psychologists' role is likely to come under scrutiny. The Justice Department ethics office is expected to complete a report on the lawyers who pronounced the methods legal. And the C.I.A. will soon release a highly critical 2004 report on the program by the agency's inspector general. The psychologists' ... fall from official grace has been as swift as their rise in 2002. With a possible criminal inquiry looming, Dr. Mitchell and Dr. Jessen have retained a well-known defense lawyer, Henry F. Schuelke III. Mr. Schuelke said they would not comment for this article.
Note: For lots more from reliable sources on the torture employed by the CIA and US military in "the war on terror," click here.
U.S. battling CIA rendition case in 3 courts
2009-08-10, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
The Obama administration is fighting on multiple fronts - in courts in San Francisco, Washington and London - to keep an official veil of secrecy over the treatment of a former prisoner who says he was tortured at Guantanamo Bay. The administration has asked a federal appeals court in San Francisco to reconsider its ruling allowing Binyam Mohamed and four other former or current prisoners to sue a Bay Area company for allegedly flying them to overseas torture chambers for the CIA. Most recently, a British government lawyer told her nation's High Court last month that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton had threatened to limit U.S. intelligence-sharing with Great Britain if the court disclosed details of Mohamed's treatment in Guantanamo. The British court declared in August 2008 that there was evidence Mohamed had been tortured, but deleted the details from its public version of the ruling at the Bush administration's insistence. Mohamed, 30, an Ethiopian refugee and British resident, ... and four other men have sued Jeppesen Dataplan, a San Jose subsidiary of the Boeing Co., for its alleged role in arranging their flights for the CIA. A Council of Europe report in 2007 described Jeppesen as the CIA's aviation services provider. The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco reinstated the suit in April, rejecting arguments originally made by the Bush administration that the case posed grave risks to national security. Obama administration lawyers endorsed those arguments at a hearing in February and have asked the court for a rehearing. Mohamed's lawyers, Clive Stafford Smith and Ahmad Ghappour of the British human-rights group Reprieve, were threatened with jail after drafting a letter to Obama in February urging him to release the evidence of their client's treatment in U.S. custody or to authorize Britain to do so.
Note: For many illuminating reports from major media sources on government secrecy, click here.
Judge: CIA interrogations not relevant to 9/11 accused's sanity
2009-08-10, Miami Herald
U.S. military defense lawyers for accused 9/11 conspirator Ramzi bin al Shibh cannot learn what interrogation techniques CIA agents used on the Yemeni before he was moved to GuantÃ¡namo to be tried as a terrorist, an Army judge has ruled. Bin al Shibh, 37, is one of five men charged in a complex death penalty prosecution by military commission currently under review by the Obama administration. But his lawyers say he suffers a "delusional disorder," and hallucinations in his cell at GuantÃ¡namo may leave him neither sane enough to act as his own attorney nor to stand trial. Prison camp doctors treat him with psychotropic drugs. Army Col. Stephen Henley, the military judge on the case, has scheduled a competency hearing for mid-September.
Meantime, the judge ruled on Aug. 6 that "evidence of specific techniques employed by various governmental agencies to interrogate the accused is . . . not essential to a fair resolution of the incompetence determination hearing in this case." Prosecutors had invoked a national security privilege in seeking to shield the details from defense lawyers. Many of the techniques used on the men have already been made public. They included waterboarding, sleep deprivation and sexual humiliation methods meant to break a captive's will. But Navy Cmdr. Suzanne Lachelier, the Yemeni's Pentagon appointed defense attorney, said court-approved mental health experts -- as well as the judge -- need to know the specifics to assess her client's mental illness. If he suffers post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of his CIA interrogations, there may be PTSD treatments that could make him competent.
Note: For many reports from reliable sources on the hidden realities of "the war on terror," click here.
Ministers must explain destruction of 'torture flight' papers, says panel of MPs
2009-08-09, The Guardian (One of the U.K.'s leading newspapers)
Ministers must explain why crucial documents relating to CIA "torture flights" that stopped on sovereign British territory were destroyed, a panel of MPs has said. In particular, the MPs ... call for an explanation for the missing papers, which might explain the role of Diego Garcia, the British overseas territory, in the US's "extraordinary rendition" programme. The report says: "We recommend that the government discloses how, why and by whom the records relating to flights through Diego Garcia since the start of 2002 were destroyed." Foreign secretary David Miliband admitted 18 months ago that two US planes refuelled on the Indian Ocean island. The committee now wants a detailed account of the record-keeping and disposal policy regarding flights through the territory and "elsewhere through UK airspace". It also criticises the government's inability to offer assurances that ships anchored outside Diego Garcia's waters were not involved in the rendition programme. "The government must address the use of UK airspace for empty flights that may be part of a rendition circuit," says the report. Amnesty International said the MPs' verdict underlined the need for a full, independent inquiry into the UK's involvement in "war on terror" and human rights abuses. The committee also voiced disquiet over claims that British intelligence officers were complicit in the torture of detainees held overseas. According to documents revealed by the high court last month, an MI5 officer visited Morocco three times during the time British resident Binyam Mohamed claims he was secretly interrogated and tortured there.
Note: For many reports from reliable sources on the hidden realities of "the war on terror," click here.
Power Shifts in Plan for Capital Calamity
2009-07-28, New York Times
A shift in authority has given military officials at the White House a bigger operational role in creating a backup government if the nation’s capital were “decapitated” by a terrorist attack or other calamity, according to current and former officials involved in the decision. The move ... was made in the closing weeks of the administration of President George W. Bush. Officials said the Obama administration had left the plan essentially intact. Under the revamped structure, the White House Military Office, which reports to the office of the White House chief of staff, has assumed a more central role in setting up a temporary “shadow government” in a crisis. And the office, a 2,300-person outfit best known for flying Air Force One, has taken on added responsibilities as the lead agent in shepherding government leaders to a secure site at Mount Weather in rural Virginia, keeping classified lists of successors and maintaining computer systems, among other operational duties. Many of these types of tasks were previously handled by civilians at other agencies, led by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Officials at other agencies that have traditionally played critical roles expressed concern that the new structure placed too much power in the hands of too few people inside the White House. They also saw the move as part of the Bush administration’s broader efforts to enhance the power of the White House. Though the office reports to the White House, many of its employees are uniformed soldiers, and it has sometimes been led by a military officer. While Obama administration officials would not discuss details of their continuity plan, they said the current policy was “settled,” and they drew no distance between their own policies and those left behind by the Bush administration.
Note: For more on the Shadow Government, click here. For lots more on government secrecy from major media sources, click here.
Assassinations anyone? CIA claims of cancelled campaign are hogwash
2009-07-19, Toronto Sun
CIA director Leon Panetta just told Congress he cancelled a secret operation to assassinate al-Qaida leaders. The CIA campaign, authorized in 2001, had not yet become operational, claimed Panetta. His claim is humbug. The U.S. has been trying to kill al-Qaida personnel (real and imagined) since the Clinton administration. These efforts continue under President Barack Obama. Claims by Congress it was never informed are hogwash. The CIA and Pentagon have been in the assassination business since the early 1950s, using American hit teams or third parties. Assassination was outlawed in the U.S. in 1976, but that did not stop attempts by its last three administrations to emulate Israel's Mossad in the "targeted killing" of enemies. The George W. Bush administration, and now the Obama White House, sidestepped American law by saying the U.S. was at war, and thus legally killing "enemy combatants." But Congress never declared war. Washington is buzzing about a secret death squad run by Dick Cheney when he was vice-president and his protege, the new U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal. This gung-ho general led the Pentagon's super secret Special Operations Command, which has become a major rival to the CIA in the business of "wet affairs" (as the KGB used to call assassinations) and covert raids. America is hardly alone in trying to rub out enemies or those who thwart its designs. Britain's MI-6 and France's SDECE were notorious for sending out assassins. U.S. assassins are still at work. In Afghanistan and Pakistan, U.S. drones are killing tribesmen almost daily. Over 90% are civilians. Americans have a curious notion that killing people from the air is not murder or even a crime, but somehow clean.
Note: For more revealing information on this, click here. For more on assassination as a tool of state, click here.
Doctors demand inquest into death of Dr David Kelly
2009-07-13, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
A group of 13 doctors who believe that Dr David Kelly, the Government scientist, did not commit suicide, but was murdered, are launching a legal campaign to demand an inquest. The original inquest into Dr Kelly's death six years ago in woods near his Oxfordshire home was suspended by Lord Falconer, then the Lord Chancellor. He designated the Hutton Inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the weapons inspector's death as "fulfilling the function of an inquest". Dr Kelly died shortly after he was exposed as the source for a story claiming the Government "probably knew" that a claim Iraq could attack with weapons of mass destruction in 45 minutes was not true. A team of doctors unconvinced by the findings of the Hutton Report has compiled a dossier which claims that a cut to the ulnar artery in Dr Kelly's wrist could not have killed him. The 12-page document concludes: "The bleeding from Dr Kelly's ulnar artery is highly unlikely to have been so voluminous and rapid that it was the cause of death." Among the doctors is ... is David Halpin, 69, a former lecturer in anatomy at King's College, London, and a former consultant in orthopaedic and trauma surgery at Torbay Hospital, who later went into general practice. Dr Halpin said they had argued their case in the legal document in "microscopic" detail and added: "We reject haemorrhage as the cause of death and see no contrary opinion which would stand its ground. I think it is highly likely he was assassinated." The doctors have been working closely with Norman Baker, the Liberal Democrat MP, who believes the scientist was murdered by enemies he made in the course of his work as a weapons inspector.
Note: For a trove of revelatory reports on assassinations as a tool of state, click here.
Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib ... Bagram?
2009-07-11, Sunday Herald (One of Scotland's leading newspapers)
Noor Habib's hands shake as he draws a picture of how he says he was abused. He claims that he was taken to a small, darkened cell where his arms were tied to the ceiling and he was made to stand in waist-deep water for six hours at a time. He says he was beaten, threatened with dogs, and deprived of sleep. Habib was an inmate at the Bagram Theater Internment Facility, an American military detention centre outside Kabul. Over a period of more than two months, we tracked down 27 former detainees. There were others, but they were afraid to speak or had been warned not to. Many allegations of ill-treatment appear repeatedly in the interviews; physical abuse, the use of stress positions, excessive heat or cold, unbearably loud noise, being forced to remove clothes in front of female soldiers and in four cases, being threatened with death at gunpoint. All the men who spoke to us were interviewed in isolation and they were all asked the same questions. They were held at times between 2002 and 2008 and they were all accused of belonging to or helping al-Qaeda or the Taliban. None of the inmates were charged with any offence or put on trial. The camp has held thousands of people over the last eight years. Most of the inmates are Afghans but some were captured abroad and brought here under a process known as "extraordinary rendition", including at least two Britons. The Obama administration says they are dangerous men and it classifies them as "terrorist suspects" and "enemy combatants" rather than "prisoners of war". It is a legal classification that critics say deliberately denies inmates access to lawyers or the right to appeal or even complain about their treatment.
Note: For more revelations from reliable, verifiable sources of the horrific abuses carried out under US direction at secret prisons worldwide, click here.
The Alarming Record of the F.B.I.'s Informant in the Bronx Bomb Plot
2009-07-07, Village Voice (A progressive New York City street newspaper)
Last month, police and the FBI arrested four Newburgh men on charges that they had plotted to bomb synagogues in the Riverdale neighborhood of the Bronx and fire a missile at a military jet. As more details emerged, however, the less the four defendants sounded like men with the skills to plan a sophisticated terror plot. They were small-time crooks, felons with long criminal records. What the indictment didn't say, and what the initial news reports didn't fill in, was the extent to which the fifth man in the plot, an unnamed FBI informant, had provided the glue to hold the Newburgh 4 together. That informant was a Pakistani man named Shahed Hussain, code-named "Malik," who agreed to work for the FBI to obtain leniency after he was arrested in 2002 for fraud. Over a period of about a year, Malik met with [the] defendants ... while under FBI surveillance. The Newburgh bomb plot isn't the first of Malik's operations for the government. He played a similar role four years ago in an Albany case, in which he helped the FBI arrest a man named Mohammed Hossain, a cash-poor pizzeria owner, and his imam, Yassin Aref, after persuading them to launder $50,000 in a made-up plot to bring a missile to the U.S. and assassinate the Pakistani prime minister. In both cases, Malik did not stumble upon active terror cells plotting to bring destruction on American soil. Instead, in both Newburgh and Albany, he needed long periods of time to recruit his Muslim contacts, spin elaborate tales about his terror contacts, and develop solid plans of action, all the while providing the defendants with large amounts of resources and cash incentives. In each case, the question remains: Would either set of defendants have done anything remotely like plant bombs or launder money for terrorists if not for the prodding and plotting and encouragement of Malik and the FBI?
Note: For lots more from major media sources on the hidden realities behind the never-ending "war on terror", click here.
As rumours swell that the government staged 7/7, victims' relatives call for a proper inquiry
2009-07-03, Daily Mail (One of the UK's largest-circulation newspapers)
The country's worst-ever terrorist atrocity during London's morning rush hour on July 7, 2005, shattered for ever the heady euphoria in which the capital was basking the morning after winning the bid for the 2012 Olympics. That afternoon, Tony Blair - who was hosting the G8 summit on global poverty in Gleneagles, Scotland - returned to Downing Street to pronounce that the attack was an act in the 'name of Islam'. Later, at a meeting of the Government's national emergency committee COBRA, London's anti-terror police chief Andy Hayman told senior ministers that he suspected suicide bombers. And so the story of 7/7 that we have come to accept was pieced together: four British Muslims ... blew themselves up using home-made explosives, killing 56 and injuring 700 on three Tube trains and a double-decker bus. But families of the dead victims and an increasing number of 7/7 survivors claim there are inconsistencies and basic mistakes in the official accounts that need explanation. And they are demanding a full public inquiry to answer key questions about what the Intelligence Services and the police did and did not know before the bombings. Meanwhile, the Government's determined refusal to meet their demands is having a very dangerous side-effect - fuelling myriad conspiracy theories about 7/7. Books, blogs and several video documentaries point to oddities in the official accounts. [Some] of them suggest that the attacks were not the work of Muslim terrorists at all, but were carried out by the Government to boost support for the Iraq war. The survivors are so intent on an independent inquiry that they are now taking legal action in the High Court.
Note: The evidence laid out in this article of government complicity is quite strong. For revealing reports from reliable sources on the unexplained circumstances surrounding the London Bombings on 7/7/05, click here.
To Critics, New Policy on Terror Looks Old
2009-07-02, New York Times
Civil libertarians recently accused President Obama of acting like former President George W. Bush, citing reports about Mr. Obama’s plans to detain terrorism suspects without trials on domestic soil after he closes the Guantánamo prison. It was only the latest instance in which critics have argued that Mr. Obama has failed to live up to his campaign pledge “to restore our Constitution and the rule of law” and raised a pointed question: Has he, on issues related to fighting terrorism, turned out to be little different from his predecessor? Mr. Obama’s critics say that ... the core problem with Mr. Bush’s approach ... was that it trammeled individual rights. And they say Mr. Obama’s policies have not changed that. “President Obama may mouth very different rhetoric,” said Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union. “He may have a more complicated process with members of Congress. But in the end, there is no substantive break from the policies of the Bush administration.” Mr. Obama has also drawn fire from human rights advocates for fighting to prevent detainees in Afghanistan from having habeas corpus rights. Mr. Obama has also continued other Bush-era policies ... like the C.I.A.’s “extraordinary rendition” program ... and the invocation of the “state secrets” privilege to shut down some lawsuits. Jack Balkin, a Yale Law School professor, said Mr. Obama’s ratification of the basic outlines of the surveillance and detention policies he inherited would reverberate for generations. By bestowing bipartisan acceptance on them, Mr. Balkin said, Mr. Obama is consolidating them as entrenched features of government. “What we are watching,” Mr. Balkin said, “is a liberal, centrist, Democratic version of the construction of these same governing practices.”
Note: For revealing media articles from reliable sources on the hidden realities of never-ending "war on terror", click here.
Israelis intercept Gaza aid ship
2009-06-30, BBC News
Israeli forces have boarded a ship trying to carry aid and pro-Palestinian activists to the Gaza Strip in defiance of Israel's blockade of the territory. The 20 passengers include former US congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and Nobel Prize winner Mairead Maguire. Ms McKinney described it as "an outrageous violation of international law", as the boat was on a humanitarian mission and was not in Israeli waters. The US-based Free Gaza Movement has breached the blockade five times since August 2008. Two other attempts by the activist group were stopped by Israeli warships during Israel's three-week military offensive in Gaza in December and January. The mission is the latest by the Free Gaza Movement, which has renamed the ferry Spirit of Humanity. "This is an outrageous violation of international law against us. Our boat was not in Israeli waters, and we were on a human rights mission to the Gaza Strip," said Ms McKinney in a statement.
"President [Barack] Obama just told Israel to let in humanitarian and reconstruction supplies, and that's exactly what we tried to do. We're asking the international community to demand our release so we can resume our journey." On Monday, a report by the International Committee of the Red Cross described the 1.5 million Palestinians living in Gaza as people "trapped in despair", unable to rebuild their lives after Israel's offensive. Donors have pledged $4.5 billion for reconstruction and rehabilitation in Gaza following the 22-day offensive which left more than 50,000 homes, 800 industrial properties and 200 schools damaged or destroyed, as well as 39 mosques and two churches.
Note: A similar boat was rammed by the Israeli military about six months ago. To watch a 3-minute CNN interview on this, click here.
White House Weighs Order on Detention
2009-06-27, Washington Post
Obama administration officials ... are crafting language for an executive order that would reassert presidential authority to incarcerate terrorism suspects indefinitely, according to three senior government officials with knowledge of White House deliberations. Such an order would embrace claims by former president George W. Bush that certain people can be detained without trial for long periods under the laws of war. In a May speech, President Obama broached the need for a system of long-term detention and suggested that it would include congressional and judicial oversight. "We must recognize that these detention policies cannot be unbounded. They can't be based simply on what I or the executive branch decide alone," he said. A senior Republican [Congressional] staff member said that senators have yet to see "a comprehensive, detailed policy" on long-term detention from the administration. "They can do it without congressional backing, but I think there would be very strong concerns," the staff member said, adding that "Congress could cut off funding" for any detention system established in the United States. Concerns are growing among Obama's advisers that Congress may try to assert too much control over the process. "Legislation could kill Obama's plans," said one government official involved. The official said an executive order could be the best option for the president at this juncture. Under one White House draft that was being discussed this month, according to administration officials, detainees would be imprisoned at a military facility on U.S. soil, but their ongoing detention would be subject to annual presidential review.
Note: Again the Obama administration is following in the footsteps of the Bush administration, despite prior promises not to do so. For more on threats to civil liberties from reliable sources, click here.
'If I didn't confess to 7/7 bombings MI5 officers would rape my wife,' claims torture victim
2009-06-25, Daily Mail (a popular U.K. newspaper)
A British man spoke publicly for the first time yesterday to accuse MI5 officers of forcing him to confess to masterminding the July 7 bombings. Jamil Rahman claims UK security officers were behind his arrest in 2005 in Bangladesh. He says he was beaten repeatedly by local officials who also threatened to rape him and his wife. Mr Rahman, who is suing the Home Office, said a pair of MI5 officers who attended his torture and interrogation would leave the room while he was beaten. He claims when he told the pair he had been tortured they merely answered: 'They haven't done a very good job on you.' Mr Rahman told the BBC: 'They threatened my family. They go to me, "In the UK, gas leaks happen, if your family house had a gas leak and everyone got burnt, there's no problems, we can do that easily".' He says he eventually made a false confession of involvement in the July 7 bomb plots. The extraordinary allegations will add to pressure on UK ministers to come clean over the way Britain's intelligence agencies have been allowed to gather evidence around the world in the eight years since the September 11 attacks. Jamil Rahman, a former civil servant from south Wales, is a British citizen who moved to Bangladesh in 2005 and married a woman he met there. He returned to the UK last year. He said: 'It was all to do with the British. Jamil Rahman is one of a number of former detainees who accuse the British Government colluded in their torture abroad. His account echoes that of former Guantanamo Bay detainee Binyam Mohamed, who said he was tortured in Pakistan and Morocco with MI5's knowledge. The 30-year-old Ethiopian says he was beaten and deprived of sleep to try to make him confess to an Al Qaeda 'dirty bomb' plot, and his treatment is now the subject of an unprecedented police investigation into MI5's conduct.
Note: For lots more on the hidden strategies used to maintain the "war on terror", click here.
Pentagon Exam Calls Protests 'Low-Level Terrorism,' Angering Activists
2009-06-17, Fox News
A written exam administered by the Pentagon labels "protests" as a form of “low-level terrorism” – enraging civil liberties advocates and activist groups who say it shows blatant disregard of the First Amendment. The written exam, given as part of Department of Defense employees’ routine training, includes a multiple-choice question that asks:
“Which of the following is an example of low-level terrorism?” – Attacking the Pentagon – IEDs – Hate crimes against racial groups – Protests. The correct answer, according to the exam, is "Protests." “Its part of a pattern of equating dissent and protest with terrorism," said Ann Brick, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, which obtained a copy of the question after a Defense Department employee who was taking the test printed the screen on his or her computer terminal.
"It undermines the core constitutional values the Department of Defense is supposed to be defending,” Brick said, referring to the First Amendment right to peaceably assemble. She said the ACLU has asked the Defense Department to remove the question and send out a correction to all employees who took the exam. “There were other employees who were unhappy with it and disturbed by it,” Brick said. Anti-war protesters, who say they have been targets of federal surveillance for years, were livid when they were told about the exam question. “That’s illegal,” said George Martin, national co-chairman of United for Peace and Justice. “Protest in terms of legal dissent has to be recognized, especially by the authorities. It’s not terrorism or a lack of patriotism. We care enough to be active in our government.”
Note: For lots more on the continually-escalating government threats to civil liberties, click here.