Terrorism News Stories
Excerpts of Key Terrorism News Stories in Major Media
Below are many highly revealing excerpts of important terrorism news stories reported in the major media that suggest a major cover-up.
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Are all telephone calls recorded and accessible to the US government?
2013-05-04, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-05-14 09:17:48
CNN's Out Front with Erin Burnett [has been] focused on the possible involvement in the Boston Marathon attack of Katherine Russell, the 24-year-old American widow of the deceased suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Anonymous government officials are claiming that they are now focused on telephone calls between Russell and Tsarnaev that took place both before and after the attack to determine if she had prior knowledge of the plot or participated in any way. Burnett interviewed Tim Clemente, a former FBI counterterrorism agent, about whether the FBI would be able to discover the contents of past telephone conversations between the two. He quite clearly insisted that they could: BURNETT: There's no way they actually can find out what happened, right, unless she tells them? CLEMENTE: No, there is a way. We certainly have ways in national security investigations to find out exactly what was said in that conversation. We certainly can find that out. BURNETT: So they can actually get that? People are saying, look, that is incredible. CLEMENTE: No, welcome to America. All of that stuff is being captured as we speak whether we know it or like it or not. On Thursday night, Clemente again appeared on CNN. He reiterated what he said the night before but added expressly that "all digital communications in the past" are recorded and stored. All digital communications - meaning telephone calls, emails, online chats and the like - are automatically recorded and stored and accessible to the government after the fact. To describe that is to define what a ubiquitous, limitless Surveillance State is.
Note: All of our communications have been monitored by government computers for years. BBC News reported in this this 1999 article about the Echelon network which monitors all communications globally. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on government and corporate threats to privacy, click here.
Boston chief: Wasn't told FBI got Tsarnaev warning
2013-05-09, Houston Chronicle/Associated Press
Posted: 2013-05-14 09:15:48
The FBI did not initially share with Boston police the warnings it had received from Russia about one suspect in last month's marathon bombings, despite the work of four city police representatives on a federal terrorism task force, Boston's police commissioner told Congress on [May 9]. Boston police learned about the Russian security service warnings only later. The congressional hearing was the first in a series to review the government's initial response to the attacks, ask what information authorities received about Tsarnaev and his brother before the bombings and consider whether everything was handled correctly. Some lawmakers questioned whether Boston police could have more thoroughly investigated Tsarnaev after 2011, based on Russia's vague warnings then to the FBI and CIA or the discovery by the Homeland Security Department in 2012 that he was traveling to Russia for six months, and whether Justice Department rules intended to protect civil liberties constrained the FBI's own inquiry. Led by the FBI, Joint Terrorism Task Forces operate in many cities as a way to bring federal, state and local officials together to share information. The model has existed for decades but, after 9/11, task forces sprouted up in cities nationwide to ensure that police were not out of the loop on investigations like the one the FBI conducted into Tsarnaev.
Note: For a powerful 11-minute video presenting undeniable evidence that the Boston bombers' uncle was closely linked to both the CIA and terrorist organizations, click here. Many are questioning whether the recent Boston bombing was a false flag operation. Though it is not conclusive, you can find some very reliable evidence that this might be the case at this link and this one. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the deceptions of intelligence agencies, click here.
Report: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's repeated requests for a lawyer were ignored
2013-04-29, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-05-07 07:59:48
The initial debate over the treatment of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev focused on whether he should be advised of his Miranda rights or whether the "public safety exception" justified delaying it. Now, the Los Angeles Times ... reports something which, if true, would be a much more serious violation of core rights than delaying Miranda warnings - namely, that ... Tsarnaev had repeatedly asked for a lawyer, but the FBI simply ignored those requests, instead allowing the interagency High Value Detainee Interrogation Group to continue to interrogate him alone: "Tsarnaev has not answered any questions since he was given a lawyer and told he has the right to remain silent by Magistrate Judge Marianne B. Bowler on Monday, officials said. Until that point, Tsarnaev had been responding to the interagency High Value Detainee Interrogation Group, including admitting his role in the bombing, authorities said. A senior congressional aide said Tsarnaev had asked several times for a lawyer, but that request was ignored since he was being questioned under the public safety exemption to the Miranda rule." Denying him the right to a lawyer after he repeatedly requests one is ... as fundamental a violation of crucial guaranteed rights as can be imagined. To ignore the repeated requests of someone in police custody for a lawyer, for hours and hours, is just inexcusable and legally baseless. If the LA Times report is true, then it means that the DOJ did not merely fail to advise him of his right to a lawyer but actively blocked him from exercising that right.
Note: The government appears to be setting a precedent in seeing how far they can go with taking away our constitutionally guaranteed rights. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on civil liberties, click here.
Congressman: Boston bombs triggered by remote control
2013-04-24, CBS News
Posted: 2013-04-30 08:25:36
Two U.S. officials say Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving suspect [in the Boston Marathon bombings], was unarmed when police captured him hiding inside a boat in a neighborhood back yard. Authorities originally said they had exchanged gunfire with Dzhokhar for more than one hour Friday evening before they were able to subdue him. The officials tell The Associated Press that no gun was found in the boat. Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said earlier that shots were fired from inside the boat. Investigators also believe the brothers helped finance their plot through drug sales. Sources say Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was unemployed, made money selling marijuana. Police think the brothers killed a Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus police officer for his weapon while they were the subjects of last week's massive manhunt. The brothers only had one real gun and one pellet gun when they were on the run Thursday. Investigators now believe that Officer Sean Collier was killed Thursday because the two bombing suspects wanted to take his gun. Investigators believe because the officer's holster had a locking system, they apparently couldn't get the gun out. Collier was shot in the head execution-style while sitting in his patrol car. In his questioning in the hospital, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev said they were self-taught and self-radicalized.
Note: Don't these details released by investigators sound odd? If Dzhokhar was not armed, why did authorities say they exchanged gunfire for an hour? And previous reports claimed Dzhokhar was shot in the throat, so that he could not speak about his version of what happened. High strangeness here. For powerful evidence from a respected researcher that the uncle of the Boston bombers was a top CIA official, click here. This is evidence supporting the theory that the brothers may have been CIA-controlled Manchurian Candidates. For more on this, click here.
Russia alerted US repeatedly about suspect, senators say
2013-04-24, Boston Globe
Posted: 2013-04-30 08:24:12
Russian authorities contacted the US government with concerns about Tamerlan Tsarnaev not once but "multiple" times, including an alert it sent after he was first investigated by FBI agents in Boston, raising new questions about whether the FBI should have paid more attention to the suspected Boston Marathon bomber. The FBI has previously said it interviewed Tsarnaev in early 2011 after it was initially contacted by the Russians. Following a closed briefing of the Senate Intelligence Committee Tuesday, Senator Richard Burr, a North Carolina Republican, said he believed that Russia alerted the United States about Tsarnaev in “multiple contacts,” including at least once since October 2011. Warnings raised by Russia have loomed large in the investigation of how Tsarnaev, a Kyrgyzstan national, and his younger brother, Dzhokhar, a naturalized US citizen, allegedly prepared for the bombing. US officials have faced tough questions for not tracking the older brother’s travels to the Russian provinces of Dagestan and Chechnya, where he spent more than half of 2012 and may have interacted with militant groups or individuals. Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, said ... that the FBI told him it was not aware of the older Tsarnaev’s travels because his name had been misspelled on an airliner passenger list. US Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano confirmed the misspelling during a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee ... but she said Homeland Security nonetheless was aware of his trip.
Note: For powerful evidence from a respected researcher that the uncle of the Boston bombers was a top CIA official, click here.
Combat school must disclose trainees
2013-04-23, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2013-04-30 08:17:43
A federal judge in Oakland says the government must release the names of Latin American military leaders it has trained at the installation formerly known as the School of the Americas, where protesters say the United States has nurtured some of the hemisphere's worst human rights abusers. The Defense Department facility at Fort Benning, Ga., now called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, provides training in combat and counterinsurgency techniques. The U.S. government, starting in 1994, released the names and military units of trainees who had attended the school since 1946. The list contained more than 60,000 names when disclosure was ended by President George W. Bush's administration in 2004. The Obama administration has defended its predecessor's action in court. But U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton ruled ... that members of SOA Watch, which has protested at the school for more than two decades, were entitled to the names under [FOIA]. She said there was no evidence that any trainees had ever been promised anonymity or had been harmed by the pre-2004 practice of public identification. If Hamilton's decision stands, it will restore an important public safeguard, said Judith Liteky of San Francisco, a plaintiff in the suit and a participant in the protest movement since 1990. Liteky's husband, Charlie Liteky, was awarded the Medal of Honor as an Army chaplain in Vietnam and has served two jail sentences for protests at the Georgia school. Judith Liteky described the school as "an affront to our democracy," saying the opposition movement has compiled more than 500 names of human rights abusers among the graduates.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on government corruption, click here.
Despair Drives Guantánamo Detainees to Revolt
2013-04-25, New York Times
Posted: 2013-04-30 08:16:15
A hunger strike is now in its third month [at Guantánamo prison], with 93 prisoners considered to be participating — more than half the inmates. Both military officials and lawyers for the detainees agree about the underlying cause of the turmoil: a growing sense among many prisoners, some of whom have been held without trial for more than 11 years, that they will never go home. While President Obama made closing the prison a top priority when he entered the White House, he put that effort on the back burner in the face of Congressional opposition to his plan to move the detainees to a Supermax facility inside the United States. The prisoners “had great optimism that Guantánamo would be closed,” Gen. John F. Kelly, who oversees the prison as head of the United States Southern Command, recently told Congress. “They were devastated when the president backed off ... of closing the facility.” That disappointment was heightened by Mr. Obama’s decision in January 2011 to sign legislation to restrict the transfers of prisoners. More than half the inmates were designated three years ago for transfer to another country if security conditions could be met, but the transfers dried up. “President Obama has publicly and privately abandoned his promise to close Guantánamo,” said Carlos Warner, a lawyer who represents one of 17 hunger strikers being kept alive by force-feeding through nasal tubes. “His tragic political decision has caused the men to lose all hope. Thus, many innocent men have chosen death over a life of unjust indefinite detention.”
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on civil liberties, click here.
2011-09-01, Mother Jones
Posted: 2013-04-30 08:07:21
Ever since 9/11, counterterrorism has been the FBI's No. 1 priority, consuming the lion's share of its budget—$3.3 billion, compared to $2.6 billion for organized crime—and much of the attention of field agents and a massive, nationwide network of informants. After years of emphasizing informant recruiting as a key task for its agents, the bureau now maintains a roster of 15,000 spies—many of them tasked ... with infiltrating Muslim communities in the United States. In addition, for every informant officially listed in the bureau's records, there are as many as three unofficial ones, according to one former high-level FBI official, known in bureau parlance as "hip pockets." The bureau now maintains a roster of 15,000 spies, some paid as much as $100,000 per case, many of them tasked with infiltrating Muslim communities in the United States. The FBI regularly taps all of them as part of a domestic intelligence apparatus whose only historical peer might be COINTELPRO, the program the bureau ran from the '50s to the '70s to discredit and marginalize organizations ranging from the Ku Klux Klan to civil-rights and protest groups. Throughout the FBI’s history, informant numbers have been closely guarded secrets. Periodically, however, the bureau has released those figures. A Senate oversight committee in 1975 found the FBI had 1,500 informants. In 1980, officials disclosed there were 2,800. Six years later, following the FBI’s push into drugs and organized crime, the number of bureau informants ballooned to 6,000, the Los Angeles Times reported in 1986. And according to the FBI, the number grew significantly after 9/11.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the realities of intelligence agency operations, click here.
Watch a Confessed Terrorist Scramble to Save Himself
Posted: 2013-04-30 08:04:36
After years of criminality and deception that included scouting targets for the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks — a slaughter that left 166 people dead — Pakistani-American David Coleman Headley was arrested by U.S. authorities in October 2009. Facing the death penalty and possible extradition overseas, he chose to cooperate. A federal judge yesterday ordered federal prosecutors to make public two video clips of the FBI’s interrogation of Headley shortly after he was arrested. The tapes show Headley ... trying to make the kind of deal that had won his freedom twice before. His first success came in 1988, when his cooperation with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) shrunk an eight-year sentence for importing heroin down to four years. When he was arrested again on heroin charges in 1997, he again cooperated with the DEA, becoming an informant and even traveling to Pakistan on the agency’s behalf. He served 15 months in prison, when he had been looking at nine years. From these experiences, Headley knew the more information he gave, the sweeter the deal. Once again, Headley succeeded in getting himself a deal. His plea agreement saved him from extradition and the death penalty, but his cooperation included testifying against his childhood best friend, Tahawwur Rana, who in June was found guilty of conspiring with Headley to attack a Danish newspaper. During Rana’s trial, the defense played these two clips of Headley’s interrogation in court.
Note: Videos of Headley's manipulations are available at the link above. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on government corruption, click here.
Boston suspect was under FBI surveillance, mother says
2013-04-20, Chicago Tribune/Reuters
Posted: 2013-04-23 08:46:05
One of the two ethnic Chechens suspected by U.S. officials of being behind the Boston Marathon bombings had been under FBI surveillance for at least three years, his mother said. Zubeidat Tsarnaeva told the English-language Russia Today state television station in a phone interview, a recording of which was obtained by Reuters, that she believed her sons were innocent and had been framed. Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was killed in a shootout with police and his 19-year-old brother Dzhokhar was captured after a day-long manhunt. "He (Tamerlan) was controlled by the FBI, like, for three to five years," she said, speaking in English. "They knew what my son was doing, they knew what sites on the Internet he was going to," she said. Tsarnaeva echoed the boys' father, Anzor, who said ... that he believed they had been framed. Tsarnaeva suggested FBI officers had visited her home when she still lived in the United States and told her that Tamerlan "was really an extremist leader and that they were afraid of him. It is really, really a hard thing to hear. And being a mother, what I can say is that I am really sure, I am, like, 100 percent sure, that this is a set-up," she said. U.S. government officials have said the brothers were not under surveillance as possible militants. But the FBI said in a statement on Friday that in 2011 it interviewed Tamerlan at the request of a foreign government, which it did not identify. The FBI statement was the first evidence that the family had come to security officials' attention after they emigrated to the United States from Dagestan about a decade ago.
Note: For a sharp analysis of unanswered questions raised by the official account of the bombings in Boston, click here. For the local NBC station report that bomb-sniffing dogs were present at the finish line of the Boston Marathon before the bombs exploded, watch this video clip. And for a Washington Times article raising more questions on the bombing, including government agents seen at the scene with suspicious backpacks, click here.
Father of Boston Bombing Suspects Keeps Faith in His Sons
2013-04-20, Wall Street Journal
Posted: 2013-04-23 08:44:26
The father of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects said he was present at the family house in Cambridge, Mass., when the FBI interviewed his older son in 2011.
Anzor Tsarnaev, speaking ... from Makhachkala in Russia's Republic of Dagestan, said Federal Bureau of Investigation agents came to talk to his older son, Tamerlan, as a "person of interest." "Yes, I was there. Of course I was there," Mr. Tsarnaev said. "It was in Cambridge. 410 Norfolk Street, Cambridge." He said U.S. authorities visited the house for what he described as "prevention" activities that involved Tamerlan. "They said: We know what sites you are on, we know where you are calling, we know everything about you. Everything," Mr. Tsarnaev recalled. "They said we are checking and watching—that's what they said." The father of the pair said he wasn't nervous that the FBI showed up at his home. "I knew what he was doing, where he was going. I raised my children right," he said of his sons. He said he is sure Tamerlan and his brother Dzhokhar must have been framed for the Boston bombing. "This is all lies. These are my children. I know my children," Mr. Tsarnaev said. He said his own brother, Ruslan, called his sons "losers" in an American television interview Friday because of a family feud. Asked if it was possible Tamerlan encountered Muslim fundamentalists while in Dagestan, he said there was no way. "There aren't even any of those here anymore," Mr. Tsarnaev said.
Note: Another article in the UK's respected Independent states, "the men's mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva said: 'I am 100% sure that this is a set-up.'" Could this have been yet another case of FBI entrapment like this and this? Or could they even have been programmed to do this using mind control using techniques described at this link? And for a Washington Times article raising more questions on the bombing, click here.
Terrorist Plots, Hatched by the F.B.I.
2012-04-29, New York Times
Posted: 2013-04-23 08:42:56
[We've] been narrowly saved from lethal terrorist plots in recent years — or so it has seemed. A would-be suicide bomber was intercepted on his way to the Capitol; a scheme to bomb synagogues and shoot Stinger missiles at military aircraft was developed by men in Newburgh, N.Y.; and a fanciful idea to fly explosive-laden model planes into the Pentagon and the Capitol was hatched in Massachusetts. But all these dramas were facilitated by the F.B.I., whose undercover agents and informers posed as terrorists offering a dummy missile, fake C-4 explosives, a disarmed suicide vest and rudimentary training. Suspects naïvely played their parts until they were arrested. When an Oregon college student ... thought of using a car bomb to attack a festive Christmas-tree lighting ceremony in Portland, the F.B.I. provided a van loaded with six 55-gallon drums of “inert material,” harmless blasting caps, a detonator cord and a gallon of diesel fuel. An undercover F.B.I. agent even did the driving, with Mr. Mohamud in the passenger seat. To trigger the bomb the student punched a number into a cellphone and got no boom, only a bust. Typically, the stings initially target suspects for pure speech – comments to an informer outside a mosque, angry postings on Web sites, e-mails with radicals overseas – then woo them into relationships with informers, who are often convicted felons [or] F.B.I. agents posing as members of Al Qaeda or other groups. This is legal, but is it legitimate? Without the F.B.I., would the culprits commit violence on their own? Is cultivating potential terrorists the best use of the manpower designed to find the real ones?
Note: Read the entire article to find out just how far the FBI will go to entrap incompetent individuals. To read a New York Times article showing that the 1993 World Trade Center bombing involved similar entrapment, only the bomber was not stopped by knowing FBI agents, click here. More on that available here. For reports on other crazy cases of FBI entrapment, click here and here. For reliable, verifiable information suggesting 9/11 may have been facilitated in some way click here.
Gitmo Is Killing Me
2013-04-15, New York Times
Posted: 2013-04-23 08:36:40
I’ve been detained at Guantánamo for 11 years and three months. I have never been charged with any crime. I have never received a trial. Last month, on March 15, I was sick in the prison hospital and refused to be fed. A team from the E.R.F. (Extreme Reaction Force), a squad of eight military police officers in riot gear, burst in. They tied my hands and feet to the bed. They forcibly inserted an IV into my hand. I spent 26 hours in this state, tied to the bed. During this time I was not permitted to go to the toilet. They inserted a catheter, which was painful, degrading and unnecessary. I was not even permitted to pray. I will never forget the first time they passed the feeding tube up my nose. I can’t describe how painful it is to be force-fed this way. As it was thrust in, it made me feel like throwing up. I wanted to vomit, but I couldn’t. There was agony in my chest, throat and stomach. I had never experienced such pain before. I would not wish this cruel punishment upon anyone. I am still being force-fed. Two times a day they tie me to a chair in my cell. My arms, legs and head are strapped down. When they come to force me into the chair, if I refuse to be tied up, they call the E.R.F. team. So I have a choice. Either I can exercise my right to protest my detention, and be beaten up, or I can submit to painful force-feeding. The only reason I am still here is that President Obama refuses to send any detainees back to Yemen. This makes no sense. I am a human being ... and I deserve to be treated like one.
Note: Samir Naji al Hasan Moqbel, has been a prisoner at Guantánamo Bay since 2002. For an illuminating analysis of this situation by the Washington Post, click here.
2013-04-17, New York Times
Posted: 2013-04-23 08:35:08
A dozen years after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, an independent, nonpartisan panel’s examination of the interrogation and detention programs carried out in their aftermath by the Bush administration ... provides a valuable, even necessary reckoning. The work of the [11-member task force convened by the Constitution Project, a legal research and advocacy group] is informed by interviews with dozens of former American and foreign officials, as well as with former prisoners. It is the fullest independent effort so far to assess the treatment of detainees at Guantánamo Bay, in Afghanistan and Iraq, and at the C.I.A.’s secret prisons. The report’s authoritative conclusion that “the United States engaged in the practice of torture” is impossible to dismiss. The report found that those methods violated international legal obligations with “no firm or persuasive evidence” that they produced valuable information that could not have been obtained by other means. The task force found that using torture — like waterboarding, slamming prisoners into walls, and chaining them in uncomfortable stress position for hours — had “no justification”. And in engineering “enforced disappearances” and secret detentions, the United States violated its international treaty obligations. As the panel notes, there never was before “the kind of considered and detailed discussions that occurred after 9/11 directly involving a president and his top advisers on the wisdom, propriety and legality of inflicting pain and torment on some detainees in our custody.”
Note: For another informative article on this from the Times, click here.
Graham: FBI report raises questions about who helped 9/11 terrorists
2013-04-18, Miami Herald
Posted: 2013-04-23 08:32:04
New FBI records connecting Saudis who lived in Sarasota before 9/11 to “individuals associated with the terrorist attacks” [have been] released. The FBI records provide new information about an investigation into what occurred prior to 9/11 at the upscale home of Abdulaziz al-Hijji and his family in the gated community of Prestancia. Information in the records contradicts prior FBI statements that no evidence was found connecting the al-Hijjis to 9/11. Agents determined the al-Hijjis “fled” their home on August 27, 2001 — two weeks before the attacks — leaving behind three cars, furniture, clothing, toys, food and other items. “Further investigation of the [name deleted] family revealed many connections between the [name deleted] and individuals associated with the terrorist attacks on 9/11/2001,” says an April 16, 2002 FBI report. The report lists three of those individuals. Two, including one described as a “family member,” were described as students at the nearby Venice airport flight school where suicide hijackers Mohamed Atta and Marwan al-Shehhi trained. The third person lived with some flight students, the report says. A counterintelligence officer speaking on condition of anonymity said an FBI examination of gatehouse log books and photos of license tags revealed that vehicles linked to the future hijackers visited al-Hijji’s residence. Much remains unclear. Chunks of the released reports are blanked out for national security and other reasons. Four pages were withheld in their entirety.
Note: For powerful evidence reported in the major media the several of the 9/11 hijackers trained at U.S. military bases, click here. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources questioning the official story of the 9/11 attacks, click here.
Why Julian Assange would target Henry Kissinger
2013-04-11, BBC News
Posted: 2013-04-16 08:47:35
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has released a database of diplomatic records by Henry Kissinger, who ran American foreign policy under two presidents. Assange has compiled a database of State Department cables that Kissinger signed during the 1970s. The documents were not classified and had been available in national archives, which is where Wikileaks researchers obtained them. Six years after Wikileaks was founded, Assange and his organisation are under pressure. He worked on the database at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, where he is now living. Critics deplore what Kissinger has done. They point out that after the US secretly bombed Cambodia in 1970, Kissinger tried to control leaks of information about government activities by setting up wiretaps at the homes of journalists. Critics also say Kissinger encouraged the overthrow of Socialist president of Chile, Salvador Allende, in 1973. Because of his role in the wiretapping of Americans and his comments about Chile, among other things, Kissinger has been the subject of intense scrutiny over the years. Kissinger would "sanitise" official accounts of meetings, says Princeton University's Gary Bass, author of a forthcoming book called The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger, and a Forgotten Genocide. "He would tell his note-takers to leave out something, so we don't have a complete record."
Note: It is quite unusual that this article and very few media have reported on a key quote by Kissinger that was released in these files. He says, “The illegal we do immediately; the unconstitutional takes a little longer." You can see an image of the document with this quote at this link.
Three key lessons from the Obama administration's drone lies
2013-04-11, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-04-16 08:41:10
For years, senior Obama officials, including the president himself, have been making public claims about their drone program that have just been proven to be categorically false. McClatchy's national security reporter, Jonathan Landay, obtained top-secret intelligence documents showing that "contrary to assurances it has deployed US drones only against known senior leaders of al-Qaida and allied groups, the Obama administration has targeted and killed hundreds of suspected lower-level Afghan, Pakistani and unidentified 'other' militants in scores of strikes in Pakistan's rugged tribal area." That article quotes drone expert Micah Zenko of the Council on Foreign Relations as saying that "McClatchy's findings indicate that the administration is 'misleading the public about the scope of who can legitimately be targeted.'" In his own must-read article at Foreign Policy about these disclosures, Zenko writes - under the headline: "Finally, proof that the United States has lied in the drone wars" - that "it turns out that the Obama administration has not been honest about who the CIA has been targeting with drones in Pakistan" and that the McClatchy article "plainly demonstrates that the claim repeatedly made by President Obama and his senior aides - that targeted killings are limited only to officials, members, and affiliates of al-Qaida who pose an imminent threat of attack on the US homeland - is false." Zenko explains that these now-disproven claims may very well make the drone strikes illegal since assertions about who is being targeted were "essential to the legal foundations on which the strikes are ultimately based."
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the lies and crimes committed by the US and UK in their global wars of aggression, click here.
UN Adopts Treaty to Regulate Global Arms Trade
2013-04-03, ABC News/Associated Press
Posted: 2013-04-09 15:10:28
The U.N. General Assembly overwhelmingly approved the first international treaty regulating the multibillion-dollar global arms trade [on April 2], after a more than decade-long campaign. The final vote: 154 in favor, 3 against and 23 abstentions. "This is a victory for the world's people," U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said. "The Arms Trade Treaty will make it more difficult for deadly weapons to be diverted into the illicit market. ... It will be a powerful new tool in our efforts to prevent grave human rights abuses or violations of international humanitarian law." Never before has there been a treaty regulating the global arms trade, which is estimated to be worth $60 billion. Frank Jannuzi, deputy executive director of Amnesty International USA [said,] "The voices of reason triumphed over skeptics, treaty opponents and dealers in death to establish a revolutionary treaty that constitutes a major step toward keeping assault rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and other weapons out of the hands of despots and warlords who use them to kill and maim civilians, recruit child soldiers and commit other serious abuses." What impact the treaty will actually have remains to be seen. It will take effect 90 days after 50 countries ratify it, and a lot will depend on which ones ratify and which ones don't, and how stringently it is implemented. As for its chances of being ratified by the U.S., the powerful National Rifle Association has vehemently opposed it, and it is likely to face stiff resistance from conservatives in the Senate, where it needs two-thirds to win ratification.
Domestic drones and their unique dangers
2013-03-29, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-04-02 09:12:09
The use of drones by domestic US law enforcement agencies is growing rapidly, both in terms of numbers and types of usage. As a result, civil liberties and privacy groups led by the ACLU ... have been devoting increasing efforts to publicizing their unique dangers and agitating for statutory limits. The belief that weaponized drones won't be used on US soil is patently irrational. Police departments are already speaking openly about how their drones "could be equipped to carry nonlethal weapons such as Tasers or a bean-bag gun." The drone industry has already developed and is now aggressively marketing precisely such weaponized drones for domestic law enforcement use. Domestic weaponized drones will be much smaller and cheaper, as well as more agile - but just as lethal [as the large missile-firing drones used by the US military overseas]. The nation's leading manufacturer of small "unmanned aircraft systems" (UAS) ... is AeroVironment, Inc. (AV). AV is now focused on drone products - such as the "Qube" - that are so small that they can be "transported in the trunk of a police vehicle or carried in a backpack." AV's website ... touts a February, 2013 Defense News article describing how much the US Army loves [its] "Switchblade" [drone]. Time Magazine heralded this tiny drone weapon as "one of the best inventions of 2012", gushing: "the Switchblade drone can be carried into battle in a backpack. It's a kamikaze: the person controlling it uses a real-time video feed from the drone to crash it into a precise target. Its tiny warhead detonates on impact."
Note: This important article also discusses drones used by government agencies such as police for purposes of continuous surveillance. But it misses entirely another major dimension: privately owned and controlled drones, which are becoming dirt cheap and within the reach of virtually anyone. Will the new "DroneWorld" in the making combine the worst features of the Police State with the Wild West?
Judge: FBI gag orders unconstitutional
2013-03-15, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2013-03-25 16:03:58
In a blow against government secrecy, a federal judge ruled [on March 15] that the tens of thousands of "national security letters" the FBI sends each year demanding customer records from phone companies, banks and others, are unconstitutional because they forbid recipients from revealing that the letters exist. A gag order that makes it a crime to disclose one has received such a letter "restrains ... speech about government conduct" with little opportunity for judicial review, said U.S. District Judge Susan Illston of San Francisco. She directed the FBI to stop issuing national security letters that contain gag orders, but put her ruling on hold during an expected government appeal. Attorney Matt Zimmerman of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which filed the suit in May 2011 on behalf of an unnamed telecommunications company, said [that] the gag orders "have truncated the public debate on these controversial surveillance tools." The USA Patriot Act, passed in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, authorized the FBI to issue national security letters on its own for information that it considers relevant to an investigation of international terrorism or spying. Virtually all of the letters include a permanent gag order. In 2008, a federal appeals court in New York found the gag orders constitutionally defective. Congress amended the law in 2006 to allow recipients to challenge national security letters on constitutional grounds, but left the government with near-total power over the gag orders, Illston said.
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