Terrorism News ArticlesExcerpts of Key Terrorism News Articles in Media
The suspected gunman in an airport shooting rampage in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. — Esteban Santiago, 26, an Iraq War veteran — has been charged with federal crimes and could face the death penalty, the Justice Department announced Saturday night. Investigators said Saturday that Santiago drew frequent police attention for domestic violence in his Alaska home town and twice was arrested within the last year. At least four times in 2016, police were called to Santiago’s house for physical disturbances or domestic violence. Two months before the shooting ... he was admitted to a mental-health facility after showing up at an FBI field office and telling agents his mind was being controlled, complaining that the government was forcing him to watch Islamic State videos. Police held his gun for a month, and then gave it back to him, authorities said. Those sporadic run-ins now raise questions about how Santiago evaded detection as he boarded two flights — checking in a weapon — before he landed at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and allegedly fired at unsuspecting travelers.
Note: Explore undeniable evidence from declassified CIA documents that the U.S. government has been using mind control to create unsuspecting murderers and terrorists. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing major media articles on secret government mind control programs.
When you listen to any member of our government state that the newly released 29 pages are no smoking gun - they are lying. Read the 29 pages and ... remember that they were written during 2002 and 2003. President Bush wanted to go to war in Iraq - not Saudi Arabia. So, 29 full pages that said “Saudi” and “Bandar” instead of “Hussein” and “Iraq” was a huge problem. There was a concerted effort by the FBI and the Bush Administration to keep incriminating Saudi evidence out of the Inquiry’s investigation. The Joint Inquiry was still able to write 29 full pages regarding Saudi complicity in the 9/11 attacks. No other nation is given such singular prominence in the Joint Inquiry’s Final Report. Not Iraq. Not Iran. Not Syria. Not Sudan. Not even Afghanistan or Pakistan. The 29 pages have been kept secret and suppressed from the American public for fifteen years - not for matters of genuine national security - but for matters of convenience, embarrassment, and cover-up. Instead of calling for an emergency session of Congress to immediately name the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as a State Sponsor of Terrorism, President Obama continues to downplay, belittle, and ignore the truth leaving us vulnerable to terrorist attacks that are still to this very day being funded by our “ally”. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia provided operational and financial support to the 9/11 hijackers. That is a fact. And, the U.S. government has been covering up that fact for fifteen years - even to this very day.
Note: Read these pages that they didn't want you to see on this webpage and explore good commentary at this link. Check out also five key revelations of these documents. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing 9/11 news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our 9/11 Information Center.
The F.B.I. has significantly increased its use of stings in terrorism cases, employing agents and informants to pose as jihadists, bomb makers, gun dealers or online “friends” in hundreds of investigations. Undercover operations, once seen as a last resort, are now used in about two of every three prosecutions involving people suspected of supporting the Islamic State, a sharp rise in the span of just two years. F.B.I. operatives coax suspects into saying and doing things that they might not otherwise do - the essence of entrapment. “They’re manufacturing terrorism cases,” said Michael German, a former undercover agent with the F.B.I.. Despite dozens of challenges to undercover terrorism cases brought since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, a judge has yet to throw one out on the grounds of entrapment. Not that some judges have not considered it. “I believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that there would have been no crime here, except the government instigated it, planned it and brought it to fruition,” Judge Colleen McMahon of the United States District Court ... said in 2011 in a case involving four Muslim men in Newburgh, N.Y. The F.B.I. planted an undercover informant inside a mosque in Newburgh as part of what became an elaborate, nearly yearlong plot. The F.B.I. even built a fake Stinger missile and had it delivered to the men. Judge McMahon said she was troubled by the F.B.I.’s conduct, but she upheld the charges.
Note: For more, see how an FBI mole posing as a potential lover recently convinced a man to become a terrorist. If terrorism is such a grave threat in the US, why does the FBI have to manufacture "terrorist" plots and then exaggerate its anti-terrorism success?
The New York Times is taking a second look at its reporting on the Internet activities of the assailants in the San Bernardino, Calif., massacre. The review is addressing a discrepancy between the paper’s reporting and statements made ... by FBI Director James B. Comey. The New York Times reported in a front-page Sunday piece that Tashfeen Malik, who with her husband Syed Rizwan Farook committed the slayings, “talked openly on social media about her views on violent jihad.” In a session with reporters yesterday, Comey announced: “So far, in this investigation we have found no evidence of posting on social media by either of them at that period in time and thereafter reflecting their commitment to jihad or to martyrdom. I’ve seen some reporting on that, and that’s a garble.” Following Comey’s statements, the New York Times published an article acknowledging the inconsistencies. That the New York Times appears to have botched this story isn’t a shocker. “American law enforcement officials” - upon whom the paper relied for its scoop - are famous for feeding contradictory and unfounded information to the media. Yet the paper’s explanation is indeed a shocker, especially these two sentences: "While those remarks were made online, Mr. Comey said, they were “direct private messages” and not easily accessed. Nevertheless, the F.B.I. was able to obtain them in the days since the attacks." This is a story that needs a large correction, if not a retraction.
Note: Somebody wants us to be afraid. Read an excellent analysis raising serious questions about these alleged mass murderers and others. A New York Times editor admitted that the NYT failed to accurately report the news after 9/11. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about the manipulation of public perception.
Soon after launching a brutal air and ground assault in Yemen, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia began devoting significant resources to a sophisticated public relations blitz. Elements of the charm offensive include the launch of a pro-Saudi Arabia media portal operated by high-profile Republican campaign consultants; a special English-language website devoted to putting a positive spin on the latest developments in the Yemen war; glitzy dinners with American political and business elites; and a non-stop push to sway reporters and policymakers. That has been accompanied by a spending spree on American lobbyists with ties to the Washington establishment. Saudi Arabia continues to be a leading driver of Sunni terror networks worldwide, including in Syria and Iraq. The Saudi Arabian government is currently supplying weapons to a Syrian rebel coalition that includes the Nusra Front, al Qaeda’s affiliate in the region. Private donors in Saudi Arabia have also worked as fundraisers for the Islamic State, or ISIS. And there is a renewed, bipartisan push by lawmakers to declassify the 28 pages of the 9/11 Commission Report, a censored section that reportedly relates to Saudi state support for al Qaeda’s operation. In September, the Kingdom helped sponsor opulent galas for Washington’s business elite at the Ritz Carlton and the Andrew Mellon Auditorium. The events were attended by King Salman, along with the chief executives of General Electric and Lockheed Martin, the chairman of Marriott International, and prominent think tank officials.
Note: A carefully researched report on the covert origins of ISIS suggests the creation of terrorists is useful for Washington's elite. A document that is reported to connect Saudi money to 9/11 remains classified. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about government corruption and media manipulation.
The New York Times reported on Sunday that many of those in charge of the CIA’s torture program – the same people whose names were explicitly redacted from the Senate’s torture report in order to avert accountability – “have ascended to the agency’s powerful senior ranks” and now run the CIA drone program. Rather than being fired and prosecuted, they have been rewarded with promotions. The longtime Counterterrorism Center chief who just stepped down, Michael D’Andrea, was previously in charge of the notorious CIA prison known as the Salt Pit, where prisoners were regularly tortured and some died. His replacement, Chris Wood, was also “central to the interrogation program”, according to the Times. The only reason we know D’Andrea and Wood’s names is because the New York Times’ executive editor Dean Baquet commendably decided to publish them. The CIA asked them not to. Adding to the disturbing nature of the CIA’s ability to kill people in complete secrecy, the agency apparently now has a carte blanche to conduct drone strikes on its own. President Obama doesn’t individually approve them anymore – he lets the CIA unilaterally decide to kill people. The Obama administration has promised more transparency around drone strikes, yet at the same time, won’t even acknowledge that the controversial drone strike it’s apologizing for even happened - just because such admission might force courts to hold the government accountable for its actions.
A new analysis of the data available to the public about drone strikes, conducted by the human-rights group Reprieve, indicates that even when operators target specific individuals – the most focused effort of what Barack Obama calls “targeted killing” – they kill vastly more people than their targets, often needing to strike multiple times. Attempts to kill 41 men resulted in the deaths of an estimated 1,147 people, as of 24 November. Reprieve [focused on] cases in which specific people were targeted by drones multiple times. Their data, shared with the Guardian, raises questions about the accuracy of US intelligence. The analysis is a partial estimate. “Drone strikes ... are only as precise as the intelligence that feeds them. There is nothing precise about intelligence that results in the deaths of 28 unknown people, including women and children, for every ‘bad guy’ the US goes after, ”said Reprieve’s Jennifer Gibson. The data cohort is only a fraction of those killed by US drones. Neither Reprieve nor the Guardian examined ... the so-called “signature strikes” that attack people based on a pattern of behavior considered suspicious, rather than intelligence tying their targets to terrorist activity. An analytically conservative Council on Foreign Relations tally assesses that 500 drone strikes outside of Iraq and Afghanistan have killed 3,674 people. Like all weapons, drones will inevitably miss their targets. But the secrecy surrounding them obscures how often misses occur and the reasons for them.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing military corruption news articles from reliable major media sources, including this NPR article that reports on the possibility of future drone strikes taking place within the US.
How can ISIS, cut off from the rest of the world by financial and trade sanctions, and under daily aerial and land bombardment by some of the richest countries in the world, afford to maintain a well-armed military and pay other bills? The terrorist group relies on ... cash, crude oil and contraband. The ISIS economy and its fighters predominantly rely on the production and sale of seized energy assets - Iraq has the fifth-largest proven crude oil reserves in the world. ISIS also depends on the steady income it extracts from private donors, the heavy taxation and extortion it levies on its captive population, the seizure of bank accounts and private assets in the lands it occupies, ransoms from kidnappings and the plundering of antiquities excavated from ancient palaces and archaeological sites. Grossing as much as $40 million or more over the past two years, ISIS has accepted funding from government or private sources in the oil-rich nations of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait - and a large network of private donors, including Persian Gulf royalty, businessmen and wealthy families. Only after widespread criticism ... did Saudi Arabia pass legislation in 2013 criminalizing financial support of terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaeda, Al-Nusra and ISIS. The lootings, ransoms and extortion ... provide a steady cash flow. But this is nothing compared to what oil trafficking provides.
Note: A carefully researched report on the covert origins of ISIS suggests the creation of terrorists is useful for Washington's elite. And isn't it interesting that Saudi Arabia has been chosen to a UN panel on human rights? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing terrorism news articles from reliable major media sources.
A major FBI cover-up ... connects Sarasota and the 9/11 hijackers to the Saudi Arabian government. While still at Sarasota's Emma E. Booker Elementary on the day of the 2001 terrorist attacks, President George W. Bush said, "Terrorism against our nation will not stand." However, the president's visit wasn't the only thing to tie this Bay area county to the September 11th attacks. Within days, we learned three of the hijackers had been living in the area while taking flying lessons at Huffman Aviation and Florida Flight Training in Sarasota County... but there is even more than that. "There was a network supporting the hijackers," says former U.S. Senator and Florida governor Bob Graham. According to Graham, the FBI has been covering up that fact for years, and continues to try and hide it even now. Graham says he is convinced there was a direct line between some of the terrorists who carried out the September 11th attacks and the government of Saudi Arabia. According to Graham, the FBI was aware of the strong connection between hijackers and a Saudi Arabian family who were living in an upscale Sarasota gated community. Twelve days before 9/11, the family abandoned the house -- leaving behind valuable items including food, clothing, furnishings and three vehicles. "There are some things I can't talk about," Graham told us, "And there are others like what I know is involved in the investigation in Sarasota, which is diametrically opposed to what the FBI said publicly."
Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing 9/11 news articles from reliable major media sources.
The video of James Foley’s execution may have been staged, with the actual murder taking place off-camera. Forensic analysis of the footage of the journalist’s death has suggested that the British jihadist in the film may have been the frontman rather than the killer. The clip, which apparently depicts Mr Foley’s brutal beheading, has been widely seen as a propaganda coup for Islamic State militant group. But a study ... carried out by an international forensic science company which has worked for police forces across Britain, suggested camera trickery and slick post-production techniques appear to have been used. A forensic analyst told The Times that no blood can be seen, even though the knife is drawn across the neck area at least six times. “After enhancements, the knife can be seen to be drawn across the upper neck at least six times, with no blood evidence to the point the picture fades to black,” the analysis said. Sounds allegedly made by Foley do not appear consistent with what may be expected. During Foley’s speech, there appears to be a blip which could indicate the journalist had to repeat a line. One expert commissioned to examine the footage was reported as saying: “I think it has been staged. My feeling is that the execution may have happened after the camera was stopped.”
Note: It is widely suspected by those in the know that many of the beheadings by alleged terrorists are staged by groups working with those who want to promote fear in our world to drive up war profiteering. For more on this, read this media article. Explore also powerful evidence that ISIS is aided and was possibly even created by covert US support.
The shooting of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old African-American, by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, is a reminder that civilians—innocent or guilty—are far more likely to be shot by police in America than in any other rich country. In 2012, according to data compiled by the FBI, 410 Americans were “justifiably” killed by police—409 with guns. That figure may well be an underestimate. Not only is it limited to the number of people who were shot while committing a crime, but also, amazingly, reporting the data is voluntary. Last year, in total, British police officers actually fired their weapons three times. The number of people fatally shot was zero. In 2012 the figure was just one. Even after adjusting for the smaller size of Britain’s population, British citizens are around 100 times less likely to be shot by a police officer than Americans. Between 2010 and 2014 the police force of one small American city, Albuquerque in New Mexico, shot and killed 23 civilians; seven times more than the number of Brits killed by all of England and Wales’s 43 forces during the same period. The explanation for this gap is simple. In Britain, guns are rare. Only specialist firearms officers carry them; and criminals rarely have access to them. In America, by contrast, it is hardly surprising that cops resort to their weapons more frequently. In 2013, 30 cops were shot and killed—just a fraction of the 9,000 or so murders using guns that happen each year. Add to that a hyper-militarised police culture and a deep history of racial strife and you have the reason why so many civilians are shot by police officers.
Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing police corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Contradicting an earlier assertion made under oath by a senior FBI official, an attorney for the Justice Department said [on April 30] that the FBI has identified four more boxes of “classified” 9/11 documents held by its Tampa field office. The government, however, has yet to comply with a federal judge’s orders ... that it turn over copies of that massive 9/11 file — now said to total 27 boxes — for his personal inspection. U.S. District Judge William J. Zloch issued those orders in a Freedom of Information lawsuit brought by BrowardBulldog.org seeking records about the FBI’s investigation into apparent pre-9/11 terrorist activity in Sarasota. Former Florida Sen. Bob Graham, who co-chaired Congress’ Joint Inquiry into the 9/11 attacks, has said that the FBI did not disclose the existence of the Sarasota investigation to either the Joint Inquiry or the subsequent 9/11 Commission. The documents state that the Sarasota Saudis had “many connections” to “individuals associated with the terrorist attacks on 9/11/2001.” One document lists three individuals, with names blacked out, and ties them to the Venice, Fla., flight school where suicide hijackers Atta and Marwan al-Shehhi trained.
Note: For solid evidence that many more were involved in 9/11 than is generally admitted, see the revealing newspaper article at this link. For an excellent documentary focused on the Venice, Florida flight school which all but proves a major cover-up involving US citizens involved in the planning of 9/11, click here. And for a treasure trove of reliable information showing a major cover-up around 9/11, click here.
Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein accused the CIA on [March 11] of violating the law and the Constitution of the United States by interfering in a committee investigation into Bush-era torture of terror suspects. Feinstein said the CIA had removed documents provided to the committee through a special, segregated network set up by the agency for the committee to pursue its investigation. Among the documents removed was an internal review of CIA interrogation techniques conducted by then-CIA Director Leon Panetta, which committee members have said corroborated committee findings critical of the agency’s interrogation program. “The CIA just went and searched the committee’s computers,” Feinstein said on the Senate floor. “This was done without the knowledge or approval of committee members or staff, and in violation of our written agreements. Further, this type of behavior would not have been possible had the CIA allowed the committee to conduct the review of documents here in the Senate,” Feinstein said. Feinstein said that the CIA’s activities may have violated the Fourth Amendment, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and executive order 12333, which bars the CIA from conducting domestic surveillance. Feinstein also said the CIA’s activities violated the separation of powers principles in the Constitution by interfering with congressional oversight of the executive branch.
Note: For more on the out-of-control activities of intelligence agencies, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
James Clapper is very worried. It's not the first time. Last week the man who serves as America's Director of National Intelligence [told] assembled members of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee that the annual worldwide threat assessment ... has filled him with dread. Last year he appeared before Congress for a similar purpose. He was very, very concerned then too. [And the same] in 2012. Of course, one must consider the possibility that over the past five decades the world has never been as dangerous, complex and challenging as it's been over the past three years, [even though the] whole "threat of nuclear holocaust" ... defined much of the 60s, 70s and 80s. Clapper's alarmist tone is hardly matched by the threats he cites. Significantly more Americans die each year from falling furniture [than from terrorist acts]. To listen to Clapper and others in the intelligence community one might never know that inter-state war has largely disappeared and that wars in general are in the midst of a multi-decade decline. 2013 was a landmark year for non-proliferation with important progress made in slowing down Iran's nuclear aspirations and enforcing the norm on chemical weapons usage. There are real threats to the US, but Clapper should be able to talk about them in sober, evidence-based, non-hysterical terms. It's almost as if Clapper and the intelligence community that he helms are playing up foreign threats in order to justify bloated post-9/11 budgets. [Remember that] he allegedly lied to Congress over the extent to which the National Security Agency was collecting phone and e-mail records of individual Americans. [Sadly,] threat mongering and exaggeration is the norm rather than the exception.
Note: For a dramatic BBC documentary showing how many politicians literally promote fear for their own self benefit, watch Power of Nightmares at this link. For more on intense deception perpetrated by the intelligence community, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Pope Francis's crusade against corruption has made him a target for Italy's all-powerful mafia clans, a leading anti-mob prosecutor has warned. Nicola Gratteri, who has battled Calabria's shadowy 'Ndrangheta mafia, said [that] Francis's attempt to bring transparency to the Vatican was making the white collar mobsters who do business with corrupt prelates "nervous and agitated". He told the Italian daily Il Fatto Quotidiano: "Pope Francis is dismantling centres of economic power in the Vatican. If the bosses could trip him up they wouldn't hesitate. I don't know if organised criminals are in a position to do something, but they are certainly thinking about it. They could be dangerous." Francis, who has called for "a poor church", has backed reform at the Vatican's bank, which has been suspected for years of being a channel for the laundering of mob profits. This week police impounded a luxury hotel on Rome's Janiculum hill – formerly a monastery – which the 'Ndrangheta allegedly purchased from a religious order. "The mafia that invests, that launders money, that therefore has the real power, is the mafia which has got rich for years from its connivance with the church," said Gratteri. "Priests continuously visit the houses of bosses for coffee, which gives the bosses strength and popular legitimacy," he said. A bishop in Locri in Calabria had excommunicated mobsters after they damaged fruit trees owned by the church, he said. "But before that episode, the bosses had killed thousands of people" without being sanctioned, he added.
Note: For more on secret societies, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
The National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio and video chats, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs. The program, code-named PRISM, has not been made public until now. It may be the first of its kind. Equally unusual is the way the NSA extracts what it wants, according to the document: “Collection directly from the servers of these U.S. Service Providers: Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple.” GCHQ, Britain’s equivalent of the NSA, also has been secretly gathering intelligence from the same internet companies through an operation set up by the NSA. PRISM was launched from the ashes of President George W. Bush’s secret program of warrantless domestic surveillance in 2007, after news media disclosures, lawsuits and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court forced the president to look for new authority. Congress obliged with the Protect America Act in 2007 and the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which immunized private companies that cooperated voluntarily with U.S. intelligence collection. Government officials and the document itself made clear that the NSA regarded the identities of its private partners as PRISM’s most sensitive secret, fearing that the companies would withdraw from the program if exposed. “98 percent of PRISM production is based on Yahoo, Google and Microsoft; we need to make sure we don’t harm these sources,” the briefing’s author wrote in his speaker’s notes.
Note: For graphs and lots more on the Prism program, see the Guardian article at this link. Technically, U.S. officials are not allowed to mine personal data from U.S. citizens. Yet if U.K. authorities mine data on U.S. citizens, they can share it freely with officials in the U.S. and vice versa. There is evidence that this happens quite frequently, thus circumventing privacy protections. For an excellent article which goes deep into this issue, click here.
Former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham has accused the FBI in court papers of having impeded Congress’s Joint Inquiry into 9/11 by withholding information about a Florida connection to the ... attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people. The information ... includes a recently declassified FBI report that ties a Saudi family who once lived in Sarasota “to individuals associated with the terrorist attacks on 9/11/2001.” “The FBI’s failure to call (to the Joint Inquiry’s attention) documents finding ‘many connections’ between Saudis living in the United States and individuals associated with the terrorist attack(s) … interfered with the Inquiry’s ability to complete its mission,” said Graham, co-chairman of the Joint Inquiry. Graham said the FBI kept the 9/11 Commission in the dark, too. He said co-chairmen Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton and executive director Philip Zelikow all told him they were unaware of the FBI’s Sarasota investigation. Moreover, Graham stated that Deputy FBI Director Sean Joyce, the Bureau’s second in command, personally intervened to block him from speaking with the special agent-in-charge of the Sarasota investigation. “I am troubled by what appears to me to be a persistent effort by the FBI to conceal from the American people information concerning possible Saudi support of the Sept. 11 attacks,” Florida’s former governor said.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the 9/11 attacks, click here.
Toward the end of a May 27 article in The Times about President Obama’s speech in which, among other things, he mentioned setting new standards for ordering drone strikes against non-Americans, there was this rather disturbing paragraph: “Even as he set new standards, a debate broke out about what they actually meant and what would actually change. For now, officials said, ‘signature strikes’ targeting groups of unidentified armed men presumed to be extremists will continue in the Pakistani tribal areas.” As Glenn Greenwald has pointed out, those two sentences seem to contradict the entire tenor of Mr. Obama’s speech, and of a letter to Congress from Attorney General Eric Holder. Both men seemed to be saying that the administration would stop using unmanned drones to kill targets merely suspected, due to their location or their actions, of a link to Al Qaeda or another terrorist organization. Those strikes have resulted in untold civilian casualties that have poisoned America’s relationship with Yemen and Pakistan. Mr. Obama talked at some length about civilian casualties, and also said that the need to use drone strikes against “forces that are massing to support attacks on coalition forces” will disappear once American forces withdraw from Afghanistan at the end of 2014. But so what to make of that paragraph in the May 27 article? I asked the White House. What I got in response was part of a background briefing given after the president’s speech that repeated the language about how the need for signature strikes will fade.
Note: Drone strikes often miss their intended targets and reportedly create more terrorists than they kill. Casualties of war whose identities are unknown are frequently mis-reported to be "militants". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
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.
On December 7, 1941, Japanese war planes bombed the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Six decades later, Al Qaeda terrorists flew hijacked airplanes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Neither President Franklin Roosevelt nor President George W. Bush targeted and killed Americans on U.S. soil in the aftermath of those attacks. Doing so wouldn't have made any sense. How strange, then, that Attorney General Eric Holder invoked those very attacks in a letter confirming that President Obama believes there are circumstances in which he could order Americans targeted and killed on U.S. soil. "It is possible ... for the President to authorize the military to use lethal force within the territory of the United States," he wrote. "The President could conceivably have no choice but to authorize the military to use such force if necessary to protect the homeland in the circumstances of a catastrophic attack like the ones suffered on December 7, 1941 and on September 11, 2001." The very scenario to be guarded against is a president using the pretext of a terrorist attack to seize extraordinary powers. Isn't that among the most likely scenarios for the United States turning into an authoritarian security state?
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