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Michel Chossudovsky's Presentation to the 9/11 Revisited conference in Malaysia
September 11, 2001: The Crimes of War Committed "in the Name of 9/11″
Initiating a Legal Procedure
against the Perpetrators of 9/11
* * *
International Conference on "9/11 Revisited – Seeking the Truth"
Perdana Global Peace Foundation (PGPF)
Kuala Lumpur, November 2012
The tragic events of September 11, 2001 constitute a fundamental landmark in American history, a decisive watershed, a breaking point.
Millions of people have been misled regarding the causes and consequences of 9/11.
September 11 2001 opens up an era of crisis, upheaval and militarization of American society. The post September 11, 2001 era is marked by the outright criminalization of the US State, including its judicial, foreign policy, national security and intelligence apparatus.
9/11 marks the onslaught of the "Global War on Terrorism" (GWOT), used as a pretext and a justification by the US and its NATO allies to carry out a "war without borders", a global war of conquest.
A far-reaching overhaul of US military doctrine was launched in the wake of 9/11.
9/11 was also a stepping stone towards the relentless repeal of civil liberties, the militarization of law enforcement and the inauguration of "Police State USA".
In assessing the crimes associated with 9/11 in the context of a legal procedure, we must distinguish between those associated with the actual event, namely the loss of life and the destruction of property on 9/11, from the crimes committed in the aftermath of September 11, 2001 "in the name of 9/11″.
The latter build upon the former. We are dealing with two related dimensions of criminality. The crimes committed "in the name of 9/11″ involving acts of war are far-reaching, resulting in the deaths of millions of people as well as the destruction of entire countries.
The 9/11 event in itself– which becomes symbolic– is used to justify the onslaught of the post 9/11 US-NATO military agenda, under the banner of the "Global War on Terrorism" (GWOT), not to mention the ushering in of the Homeland police state and the repeal of civil liberties.
The crimes committed in the name of 9/11 broadly consist in two intimately related processes:
1. The launching of the "Global War on Terrorism" (GWOT), used as a pretext and a justification to Wage a War of Conquest. This GWOT mandate was used to justify the 2001 and 2003 invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. The GWOT mandate has since extended its grip to a large number of countries in Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia, where the US and its NATO allies are intervening selectively under a counterterrorism mandate.
2. The derogation of civil liberties and the instatement of an Orwellian police state apparatus within Western countries. In the US, the introduction of the PATRIOT legislation and the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security in the immediate wake of the 9/11 attacks set the stage for the subsequent restructuring of the judicial and law enforcement apparatus, culminating in the legalization of extrajudicial assassinations under an alleged counter-terrorism mandate.
The 9/11 attacks constitute what is referred to in intelligence parlance as a "massive casualty producing event" conducive to the deaths of civilians.
The dramatic loss of life on the morning of 9/11 resulting from an initial criminal act is used as a pretext and a justification to wage an all out war of retribution, in the name of 9/11 against the alleged perpetrators of 9/11, namely the "state sponsors of terrorism", including Afghanistan, Iraq as well as Iran.
We are dealing with a diabolical and criminal project. The civilian deaths resulting from the 911 attacks are an instrument of war propaganda, applied to build a consensus in favor of an outright war of global domination.
The perpetrators of war propaganda are complicit in the conduct of extensive war crimes, in that they readily justify acts of war as counter-terrorism and/or humanitarian operations (R2P) launched to protect civilians. The "Just War" (Jus ad Bellum) concept prevails: The killing of civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq are "rightfully" undertaken in retribution for the deaths incurred on 9/11.
Evidence is fabricated to the effect that the "state sponsors of terrorism" had committed, on the morning of 9/11, an outright act of war against the United States.
Realities are turned upside down. The US and its allies are the victims of foreign aggression. America's crimes of war in Afghanistan and Iraq are committed in the name of 9/11 under a counter terrorism mandate.
The 9/11 attacks are used to harness public opinion into supporting a war without borders. Endless wars of aggression under the humanitarian cloak of "counter-terrorism" are set in motion.
Chronology of Events
At eleven o'clock, on the morning of September 11, the Bush administration had already announced that Al Qaeda was responsible for the attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC) and the Pentagon. This assertion was made prior to the conduct of an in-depth police investigation.
CIA Director George Tenet stated that same morning that Osama bin Laden had the capacity to plan "multiple attacks with little or no warning."
Secretary of State Colin Powell called the attacks "an act of war" and President Bush confirmed in an evening televised address to the Nation that he would "make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those [foreign governments] who harbor them".
Former CIA Director James Woolsey, without mentioning Afghanistan, pointed his finger at "state sponsorship," implying the complicity of one or more foreign governments. In the words of former National Security Adviser, Lawrence Eagleburger, "I think we will show when we get attacked like this, we are terrible in our strength and in our retribution."
That same evening at 9:30 pm, a "War Cabinet" was formed integrated by a select number of top intelligence and military advisors. And at 11:00 pm, at the end of that historic meeting at the White House, the "War on Terrorism" was officially launched.
The war cabinet had decided to launch an an illegal and criminal war on Afghanistan, based on essentially two interrelated concepts:
1. The 9/11 attacks although allegedly conducted by Al Qaeda were upheld as an all out military attack by a foreign power.
2. Afghanistan in allegedly supporting Al Qaeda, was responsible for an act of military aggression directed against the United States of America.
The tragic events of 9/11 provided the required justification to wage war on Afghanistan on "humanitarian grounds", with the full support of World public opinion and the endorsement of the "international community". Several prominent "progressive" intellectuals made a case for "retaliation against terrorism", on moral and ethical grounds. In taking on this stance they provided legitimacy to the conduct of war crimes. The "just cause" military doctrine (jus ad bellum) was accepted and upheld at face value as a legitimate response to 9/11.
In the wake of 9/11, the antiwar movement was completely isolated. The trade unions and civil society organizations had swallowed the media lies and government propaganda. They had accepted a war of retribution against Afghanistan, an impoverished country in Central Asia of 30 million people.
The myth of the "outside enemy" and the threat of "Islamic terrorists" was the cornerstone of the Bush administration's military doctrine, used as a pretext to invade Afghanistan and Iraq, not to mention the repeal of civil liberties and constitutional government in America. The post 9/11 era was also characterised by the development of Islamophobia, including routine ethnic profiling directed against Muslims.
Where was Osama bin Laden on September 11, 2001?
Is there any proof to the effect that Osama bin Laden, the bogeyman, coordinated the 9/11 attacks as claimed in the official 9/11 narrative?
According to CBS news (Dan Rather, January 28, 2002), "Enemy Number One" was admitted to the urology ward of a Pakistani military hospital in Rawalpindi on September 10, 2001, courtesy of America's indefectible ally Pakistan. Rawalpindi is the Headquarters of the Pakistani military including its intelligence apparatus. He could have been arrested at short notice which would have "saved us a lot of trouble", but then we would not have had an Osama Legend, which has fed the news chain as well as presidential speeches in the course of the last eleven years.
DAN RATHER. As the United states and its allies in the war on terrorism press the hunt for Osama bin Laden, CBS News has exclusive information tonight about where bin Laden was and what he was doing in the last hours before his followers struck the United States September 11.
This is the result of hard-nosed investigative reporting by a team of CBS news journalists, and by one of the best foreign correspondents in the business, CBS`s Barry Petersen. Here is his report.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BARRY PETERSEN, CBS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Everyone remembers what happened on September 11. Here`s the story of what may have happened the night before. It is a tale as twisted as the hunt for Osama bin Laden.
CBS News has been told that the night before the September 11 terrorist attack, Osama bin Laden was in Pakistan. He was getting medical treatment with the support of the very military that days later pledged its backing for the U.S. war on terror in Afghanistan. (transcript of CBS report, see http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CBS203A.html , see also http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/01/28/eveningnews/main325887.shtml
CBS News footage of the Rawalpindi, Pakistan, hospital where bin Laden was allegedly treated the day before 9/11. [Source: CBS News]
The foregoing CBS report which is of utmost relevance indicates two obvious facts:
1. Osama bin Laden could not reasonably have coordinated the 9/11 attacks from his hospital bed;
2. The hospital was under the jurisdiction of the Pakistani Armed Forces, which has close links to the Pentagon. Osama bin Laden's whereabouts were known to both the Pakistani and US military.
U.S. military and intelligence advisers based in Rawalpindi. were working closely with their Pakistani counterparts. Again, no attempt was made to arrest America's best known fugitive. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld claimed, at the time, that the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden were unknown. According to Rumsfeld: "Its like looking for a needle in a stack of hay".
Recovering from his hospital treatment in Rawalpindi on the 11th of September, how could Osama have coordinated the 9/11 attacks?
How could Afghanistan be made responsible for these attacks by Al Qaeda? Bin Laden is a national of Saudi Arabia who, according to CBS News, was not in Afghanistan, but in Pakistan at the time of the attacks.
September 12, 2001: The Invasion of Afghanistan: NATO's Doctrine of Collective Security
The immediate response of the US and its NATO allies to the 9/11 attacks was to the declare a war of retribution against Afghanistan on the grounds that the Taliban government was protecting "terror mastermind" Osama bin Laden, who at the time of the attacks was in Pakistan, protected by the Pakistani military and intelligence apparatus. In a bitter irony, the Pakistani government and military, which had facilitated bin Laden's hospitalization in Rawalpindi on September 10, offered to assist the US in "going after bin Laden". An agreement to this effect was reached on September 12 in Washington between the head of Pakistan's military Intelligence (ISI) General Mahmoud Ahmed and Secretary Colin Powell.
Parroting official statements, the Western media mantra on September 12, 2001 had already approved the launching of "punitive actions" directed against civilian targets in Afghanistan. In the words of William Saffire writing in the New York Times: "When we reasonably determine our attackers' bases and camps, we must pulverize them - minimizing but accepting the risk of collateral damage" - and act overtly or covertly to destabilize terror's national hosts".
By allegedly harboring bin Laden, the Afghan government was complicit, according to both the US administration and NATO, for having waged an act of war against the United States.
This decision was taken by the Bush-Cheney war cabinet in the evening of September 11, 2001. It was based on the presumption, "confirmed" by the head of the CIA that Al Qaeda was behind the attacks.
On the following morning, September 12, 2001, NATO's Atlantic Council meeting in Brussels, endorsed the Bush administration's declaration of war on Afghanistan (taken by the war cabinet at 11pm on September 11), invoking Article 5 of the Washington Treaty.
Meanwhile, on two occasions in the course of September 2001, the Afghan government –through diplomatic channels– offered to hand over Osama Bin laden to US Justice. These overtures were turned down by president Bush, on the grounds that America "does not negotiate with terrorists".
The War on Afghanistan: First Stage of the "Global War on Terrorism"
The war on Afghanistan was launched 26 days later on the morning of October 7, 2001. The timing of this war begs the question: how long does it take to plan and implement a major theater war several thousand miles away.
Military analysts will confirm that a major theater war takes months and months, up to a year or more of advanced preparations. Confirmed by press reports, the war on Afghanistan was already in an advanced state of readiness prior to September 11, 2001, which begs the question of foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks.
In other words, the 9/11 attacks were used as a means to trigger a military agenda which was already on the drawing board of both the Pentagon and NATO.
The repeal of civil liberties in America was launched in parallel with the bombing and invasion of Afghanistan. Immediately following 9/11, the PATRIOT legislation was adopted. The Homeland Security apparatus was launched, with a view to "protecting Americans against terrorists". This post-911 legal and institutional framework had been carefully crafted prior to the 9/11 attacks.
Article 5 of the Washington Treaty: NATO's Legal Argument
In invoking Article 5 on the morning of September 12, 2001, NATO's Atlantic Council endorsed a criminal military agenda, in derogation of international law.
The legal argument used by Washington and NATO to invade Afghanistan was that the September 11 attacks constituted an undeclared "armed attack" "from abroad" by an unnamed foreign power, and that consequently "the laws of war" apply, allowing the nation under attack, to strike back in the name of "self-defense".
On the morning of September 12, 2001, NATO's North Atlantic Council meeting in Brussels, responded to the decision of the War Cabinet taken a few hours earlier at 11pm on 9/11, adopted the following resolution:
"if it is determined that the [September 11, 2001] attack against the United States was directed from abroad [Afghanistan] against "The North Atlantic area", it shall be regarded as an action covered by Article 5 of the Washington Treaty". (emphasis added)
In this regard, Article 5 of the Washington Treaty stipulates that if:
"The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area." (NATO, What is Article 5, NATO Topics – NATO and the Scourge of Terrorism, accessed 24 November 2009, emphasis added)
An act of war by a foreign nation (Afghanistan) against a member of the Atlantic Alliance (the USA) was considered as an act of war against all members under NATO's doctrine of collective security.
Under no stretch of the imagination, can the attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon be categorized as an act of war by a foreign country. But nobody seemed to have raised this issue.
"Use of Armed Force" only "If It is Determined…"
There was an "if" in the September 12 resolution. Article 5 would apply only if it is determined that Afghanistan as a Nation State was complicit or behind the 9/11 attacks.
In practice, the "if" had already been waived prior to 9/11. The entire NATO arsenal was already on a war footing. In military terms, NATO and the US were already in an advanced state of readiness. Known to military analysts, but never revealed in the Western media, the implementation of a large scale theater war takes at least one year of advanced operational planning, prior to the launching of an invasion.
The use of article 5 of the Washington Treaty had in all likelihood been contemplated by military planners, as a pretext for waging war, prior to 9/11.
There was, however, no official declaration of war on September 12th. The Alliance waited until 3 days before the invasion to declare war on Afghanistan, an impoverished country which by no stretch of the imagination could have launched an attack against a member state of "The North Atlantic area".
The September 12 resolution of the Atlantic Council required "determination" and corroborating evidence, that:
1) Al Qaeda led by Osama bin Laden with the support of a foreign power had ordered the "attack from abroad" on the United States of America;
2) The terrorist attacks of 9/11 constituted a bona fide military operation (under the provisions of Article 5) by an alleged foreign country (Afghanistan) against a NATO member state, and consequently against all NATO member states under the doctrine of collective security:
"Article 5 and the case of the terrorist attacks against the United States: The United States has been the object of brutal terrorist attacks. It immediately consulted with the other members of the Alliance. The Alliance determined that the US had been the object of an armed attack. The Alliance therefore agreed that if it was determined that this attack was directed from abroad, it would be regarded as covered by Article 5. NATO Secretary General, Lord Robertson, subsequently informed the Secretary-General of the United Nations of the Alliance's decision.
Article 5 has thus been invoked, but no determination has yet been made whether the attack against the United States was directed from abroad. If such a determination is made, each Ally will then consider what assistance it should provide. In practice, there will be consultations among the Allies. Any collective action by NATO will be decided by the North Atlantic Council. The United States can also carry out independent actions, consistent with its rights and obligations under the UN Charter.
Allies can provide any form of assistance they deem necessary to respond to the situation. This assistance is not necessarily military and depends on the material resources of each country. Each individual member determines how it will contribute and will consult with the other members, bearing in mind that the ultimate aim is to "to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area".
By invoking Article 5, NATO members have shown their solidarity toward the United States and condemned, in the strongest possible way, the terrorist attacks against the United States on 11 September.
If the conditions are met for the application of Article 5, NATO Allies will decide how to assist the United States. (Many Allies have clearly offered emergency assistance). Each Ally is obliged to assist the United States by taking forward, individually and in concert with other Allies, such action as it deems necessary. This is an individual obligation on each Ally and each Ally is responsible for determining what it deems necessary in these particular circumstances.
No collective action will be taken by NATO until further consultations are held and further decisions are made by the the North Atlantic Council. (NATO, NATO Topics – NATO and the Scourge of Terrorism, accessed 24 November 2009, emphasis added)
The Mysterious Frank Taylor Report
The final decision to invoke Article 5 in relation to the 9/11 attacks came three weeks later upon the submission to the NATO Council of a mysterious classified report by a US State Department official named Frank Taylor. The report was submitted to NATO on October 2nd, 5 days before the commencement of the bombing and invasion of Afghanistan.
Frank Taylor was working in the US State Department. He had been entrusted with the writing of a brief to establish whether the US "had been attacked from abroad", pursuant to the North Atlantic Council's resolution of September 12 2001.
US Ambassador at Large and Co-ordinator for Counter-terrorism Frank Taylor briefed the North Atlantic Council on October 2nd, five days before the commencement of the bombings.
On October 2nd he handed his brief to NATO "on the results of investigations into the 11 September attacks…. " NATO – Topic: Terrorism, NATO and the fight against Terrorism, accessed 24 November 2009).
The classified report was not released to the media. And to this date, to our knowledge, it has remained classified.
NATO's Secretary General Lord Robertson casually summarised the substance of the Frank Taylor report in a press release:
"This morning, the United States briefed the North Atlantic Council on the results of the investigation into who was responsible for the horrific terrorist attacks which took place on September 11.
The briefing was given by Ambassador Frank Taylor, the United States Department of State Coordinator for Counter-terrorism.
This morning's briefing follows those offered by United States Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and United States Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, and illustrates the commitment of the United States to maintain close cooperation with Allies.
Today's was classified briefing and so I cannot give you all the details.
Briefings are also being given directly by the United States to the Allies in their capitals.
The briefing addressed the events of September 11 themselves, the results of the investigation so far, what is known about Osama bin Laden and the al-Qaida organisation and their involvement in the attacks and in previous terrorist activity, and the links between al-Qaida and the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.
The facts are clear and compelling. The information presented points conclusively to an al-Qaida role in the September 11 attacks.
We know that the individuals who carried out these attacks were part of the world-wide terrorist network of al-Qaida, headed by Osama bin Laden and his key lieutenants and protected by the Taliban.
On the basis of this briefing, it has now been determined that the attack against the United States on September 11 was directed from abroad and shall therefore be regarded as an action covered by Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, which states that an armed attack on one or more of the Allies in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all.
I want to reiterate that the United States of America can rely on the full support of its 18 NATO Allies in the campaign against terrorism." (Lord Robertson, NATO Secretary General, statement to the NATO Council, State Department, Appendix H, Multinational Response to September 11 NATO Press http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/10313.pdf, accessed 24 November 2009, emphasis added)
In other words, 2 days before the actual commencement of the bombing campaign on October 7, the North Atlantic Council decided, based on the information provided by Frank Taylor to the Council "that the attacks were directed from abroad" by Al Qaeda, headed by Osama bin Laden, thereby requiring an action on the part of NATO under Article 5 of the Washington Treaty ( NATO – Topic: Terrorism, NATO and the fight against Terrorism, accessed 24 November 2009):
NATO action under article 5, was outlined in an October 4 decision, 3 days before the commencement of the bombings.
Two days later, on 4 October, NATO agreed on eight measures in support the United States, which were tantamount to an illegal declaration of war on Afghanistan:
to enhance intelligence sharing and co-operation, both bilaterally and in appropriate NATO bodies, relating to the threats posed by terrorism and the actions to be taken against it;
to provide, individually or collectively, as appropriate and according to their capabilities, [military] assistance to Allies and other states which are or may be subject to increased terrorist threats as a result of their support for the campaign against terrorism;
to take necessary measures to provide increased security for facilities of the United States and other Allies on their territory;
to backfill selected Allied assets in NATO's area of responsibility that are required to directly support operations against terrorism;
to provide blanket overflight clearances for the United States and other Allies' aircraft, in accordance with the necessary air traffic arrangements and national procedures, for military flights related to operations against terrorism; to provide access for the United States and other Allies to ports and airfields on the territory of NATO nations for operations against terrorism, including for refuelling, in accordance with national procedures;
that the Alliance is ready to deploy elements of its Standing Naval Forces to the Eastern Mediterranean in order to provide a NATO presence and demonstrate resolve; and that the Alliance is similarly ready to deploy elements of its NATO Airborne Early Warning Force to support operations against terrorism. NATO – Topic: Terrorism, NATO and the fight against Terrorism, accessed 24 November 2009 emphasis added)
Press reports of Frank Taylor's brief to the NATO Council were scanty. The invocation of Article 5, five days before the bombings commenced, was barely mentioned. The media consensus was: "all roads lead to Bin Laden" as if bin Laden was a Nation State which had attacked America.
What stands out are outright lies and fabrications. Moreover, prior to October 2nd, NATO had no pretext under Article 5 of the Washington Treaty to intervene militarily in Afghanistan.
The pretext was provided by Frank Taylor's classified report, which was not made public.
The two UN Security Council resolutions adopted in the course of September 2001, did not, under any circumstances, provide a justification for the invasion and illegal occupation of a UN member country of 28 million people. (see Security Council resolution 1368 (2001) Threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts, Security Council resolution 1373 (2001) Threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts).
UNSC Resolution 1373 (2001) called for prevention and suppression of terrorist acts, as well suppression of the financing of terrorism:
"(e) Ensure that any person who participates in the financing, planning, preparation or perpetration of terrorist acts or in supporting terrorist acts is brought to justice and ensure that, in addition to any other measures against them, such terrorist acts are established as serious criminal offences in domestic laws and regulations and that the punishment duly reflects the seriousness of such terrorist acts;
"3. Calls upon all States to:
"(a) Find ways of intensifying and accelerating the exchange of operational information, especially regarding actions or movements of terrorist persons or networks; forged or falsified travel documents; traffic in arms, explosives or sensitive materials; use of communications technologies by terrorist groups; and the threat posed by the possession of weapons of mass destruction by terrorist groups;
"(b) Exchange information in accordance with international and domestic law and cooperate on administrative and judicial matters to prevent the commission of terrorist acts;
"(c) Cooperate, particularly through bilateral and multilateral arrangements and agreements, to prevent and suppress terrorist attacks and take action against perpetrators of such acts;
"4. Notes with concern the close connection between international terrorism and transnational organized crime, illicit drugs, money-laundering, illegal arms-trafficking, and illegal movement of nuclear, chemical, biological and other potentially deadly materials, and in this regard emphasizes the need to enhance coordination of efforts on national, subregional, regional and international levels in order to strengthen a global response to this serious challenge and threat to international security;
"5. Declares that acts, methods, and practices of terrorism are contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations and that knowingly financing, planning and inciting terrorist acts are also contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations (excerpts of UNSC Resolution 1373 (2001, See also UN Press Release SC 7178 SECURITY COUNCIL UNANIMOUSLY ADOPTS WIDE-RANGING ANTI-TERRORISM RESOLUTION; CALLS FOR SUPPRESSING FINANCING, IMPROVING INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION, Security Council, 4385th Meeting, September 2001)
Nowhere in this resolution is there any mention of military action against a UN member State.
The US led war on Afghanistan, using 9/11 as a pretext and a justification is illegal and criminal.
The US and NATO heads of state and heads of government from 2001 to the present are complicit in the launching of a criminal and illegal war.
The Big Lie: Al Qaeda Made in America
Amply documented but rarely mentioned by the mainstream media, Al Qaeda is a creation of the CIA going back to the Soviet- Afghan war. This was a known fact, corroborated by numerous sources including official documents of the US Congress, which the mainstream media chose to either dismiss or ignore. The intelligence community had time and again acknowledged that they had indeed supported Osama bin Laden, but that in the wake of the Cold War: "he turned against us".
Both the 9/11 Commission Report as well as the Western media have largely upheld the "outside enemy" mythology, heralding Al Qaeda as the "mastermind" organization behind the 9/11 attacks. The official 9/11 narrative has not only distorted the causes underling the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings, it has also erased the historical record of US covert support to international terrorism, while creating the illusion that America and "Western Civilization" are threatened.
Without an "outside enemy", there could be no "Global War on Terrorism". The entire national security agenda would collapse "like a deck of cards". The war criminals in high office would have no leg to stand on.
After 9/11, the campaign of media disinformation served not only to drown the truth but also to kill much of the historical evidence on how this illusive Al Qaeda "outside enemy" had been fabricated and transformed into "Enemy Number One".
This is why a legal procedure directed against the actual perpetrators of 9/11 is absolutely essential.
History of Al Qaeda
Important to the understanding of 9/11, US intelligence is the unspoken architect of "Islamic terrorism" going back to the heyday of the Soviet-Afghan war.
Bin Laden was 22 years old and was trained in a CIA sponsored guerrilla training camp. Education in Afghanistan in the years preceding the Soviet-Afghan war was largely secular. With religious textbooks produced in Nebraska, the number of CIA sponsored religious schools (madrasahs) increased from 2,500 in 1980 to over 39,000.
"Advertisements, paid for from CIA funds, were placed in newspapers and newsletters around the world offering inducements and motivations to join the [Islamic] Jihad." (Pervez Hoodbhoy, Peace Research, 1 May 2005)
"The United States spent millions of dollars to supply Afghan schoolchildren with textbooks filled with violent images and militant Islamic teachings….The primers, which were filled with talk of jihad and featured drawings of guns, bullets, soldiers and mines, have served since then as the Afghan school system's core curriculum. Even the Taliban used the American-produced books,..", (Washington Post, 23 March 2002)
Under the Reagan administration, US foreign policy evolved towards the unconditional support and endorsement of the Islamic "freedom fighters". This endorsement has not in any way been modified.
In a twisted irony, throughout the post 911 era, US intelligence in liaison with Britain's MI6, an Israel's Mossad, continues to provide covert support to the radical Islamist organization allegedly responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Al Qaeda and its various affiliated groups including the Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) and factions within the Free Syria Army (FSA) are directly supported by the US and NATO.
In a bitter irony, the US and its allies claim to be waging a "war on terrorism" against the alleged architects of 9/11, while also using Al Qaeda operatives as their foot-soldiers.
Front row, from left: Major Gen. Hamid Gul, director general of Pakistan's
Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI), Director of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
Willian Webster; Deputy Director for Operations Clair George; an ISI colonel; and senior CIA official,
Milt Bearden at a Mujahideen training camp in North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan in 1987.
Ronald Reagan meets Afghan Mujahideen Commanders at the White House in 1985 (Reagan Archives)
Iraq: Alleged State Sponsor of the 9/11 Attacks
The formulation of a war of retribution conducted in the name of 9/11 was not limited to Afghanistan.
In the course of 2002, leading up to the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, "Osama bin Laden" and "Weapons of Mass Destruction" statements circulated profusely in the news chain. While Washington's official position was that Saddam Hussein was not behind the 9/11 attacks, insinuations abounded both in presidential speeches as well as in the Western media. According to Bush, in an October 2002 press conference:
The threat comes from Iraq. It arises directly from the Iraqi regime's own actions - its history of aggression, and its drive toward an arsenal of terror. .,.. We also must never forget the most vivid events of recent history. On September the 11th, 2001, America felt its vulnerability - even to threats that gather on the other side of the earth. We resolved then, and we are resolved today, to confront every threat, from any source [Iraq], that could bring sudden terror and suffering to America. President Bush Outlines Iraqi Threat, October 7, 2002)
Barely two weeks before the invasion of Iraq, September 11, 2001 was mentioned abundantly by president Bush. In the weeks leading up to the March invasion, 45 percent of Americans believed Saddam Hussein was "personally involved" in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. (See . The impact of Bush linking 9/11 and Iraq / The Christian Science Monitor – CSMonitor.com, March 14, 2003)
Meanwhile, a new terrorist mastermind had emerged: Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi.
In Colin Powell's historic address to the United Nations Security Council, in February 2003, detailed "documentation" on a sinister relationship between Saddam Hussein and Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi was presented, focussing on his ability to produce deadly chemical, biological and radiological weapons, with the full support and endorsement of the secular Baathist regime. The implication of Colin's Powell's assertions, which were totally fabricated, was that Saddam Hussein and an Al Qaeda affiliated organization had joined hands in the production of WMD in Northern Iraq and that the Hussein government was a "state sponsor" of terrorism.
The main thrust of the disinformation campaign continued in the wake of the March 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq. It consisted in presenting the Iraqi resistance movement as "terrorists". The image of "terrorists opposed to democracy" fighting US "peacekeepers" appeared on television screens and news tabloids across the globe.
Iran: Condemned by a New York City Court for Supporting Al Qaeda in the 9/11 Attacks
In the wake of the Iraq invasion, the same alleged "state sponsorship" of terrorism accusations emerged in relation to Iran.
In December 2011, the Islamic Republic of Iran was condemned by a Manhattan court, for its alleged role in supporting Al Qaeda in the 9/11 attacks.
The investigation into Tehran's alleged role was launched in 2004, pursuant to a recommendation of the 9/11 Commission "regarding an apparent link between Iran, Hezbollah, and the 9/11 hijackers". The 9/11 Commission's recommendation was that this "apparent link" required "further investigation by the U.S. government." (9/11 Commission Report , p. 241). (See Iran 911 Case ).
In the December 2011 court judgment (Havlish v. Iran) "U.S. District Judge George B. Daniels ruled that Iran and Hezbollah materially and directly supported al Qaeda in the September 11, 2001 attacks and are legally responsible for damages to hundreds of family members of 9/11 victims who are plaintiffs in the case".
According to the plaintiffs attorneys "Iran, Hezbollah, and al Qaeda formed a terror alliance in the early 1990s. Citing their national security and intelligence experts, the attorneys explained "how the pragmatic terror leaders overcame the Sunni-Shi'a divide in order to confront the U.S. (the "Great Satan") and Israel (the "Lesser Satan")". Iran and Hezbollah allegedly provided "training to members of al Qaeda in, among other things, the use of explosives to destroy large buildings." (See Iran 911 Case ).
This judicial procedure is nothing more than another vicious weapon in the fabricated "War on Terror" to be used against another Muslim country, with a view to destabilizing Iran as well as justifying ongoing military threats. It also says a lot more about the people behind the lawsuit than about the accused. The expert witnesses who testified against Iran are very active in warmongering neocon circles. They belong to a web of architects of the 21st century Middle-Eastern wars, ranging from high profile propagandists to intelligence and military officers, including former U.S. officials.
But what makes this case absurd is that in September 2011, a few months before the judgment, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has questioned the official 9/11 narrative, was accused by Al-Qaeda leaders of "spreading conspiracy theories about the 9/11 attacks". The semi-official media outlet of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, insisted that al-Qaeda "had been behind the attacks and criticised the Iranian president for discrediting the terrorist group." (See Julie Levesque, Iran Accused of being behind 9/11 Attacks. U.S. Court Judgment, December 2011 (Havlish v. Iran), Global Research, May 11, 2012)
Al Qaeda: US-NATO Foot-soldiers
Ironically, while Washington accuses Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran of complicity in the 9/11 attacks, the historical record and evidence indelibly point to the "state sponsorship" of Al Qaeda by the CIA, MI6 and their intelligence counterparts in Pakistan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Realities are turned upside down. Al Qaeda death squads have been recruited to wage America's humanitarian wars throughout the Middle East an d North Africa.
In Syria Al Qaeda units were recruited by NATO and the Turkish High command:
"Also discussed in Brussels and Ankara, our sources report, is a campaign to enlist thousands of Muslim volunteers in Middle East countries and the Muslim world to fight alongside the Syrian rebels." (http://www.debka.com/article/21255/ Debkafile, August 31, 2011).
In Libya, jihadists from Afghanistan trained by the CIA were dispatched to fight with the "pro-democracy" rebels under the helm of "former" Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) Commander Abdel Hakim Belhadj:
Western policy makers admit that NATO's operations in Libya have played the primary role in emboldening Al Qaeda's AQIM faction (Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb). The Fortune 500-funded Brookings Institution's Bruce Riedel in his article, "The New Al Qaeda Menace," admits that AQIM is now heavily armed thanks to NATO's intervention in Libya, and that AQIM's base in Mali, North Africa, serves as a staging ground for terrorist activities across the region. http://www.globalresearch.ca/al-qaeda-and-natos-pan-arab-terrorist-blitzkrieg/
"Crimes against Civilization"
9/11 mythology has been the mainstay of war propaganda, which in itself constitutes a criminal act under international law.
Fiction prevails over reality. For propaganda to be effective, public opinion must firmly endorse the official 9/11 narrative to the effect that Al Qaeda was behind the attacks. A well organized structure of media disinformation is required to reach this objective. Perpetuating the 9/11 Legend also requires defying as well smearing the 9/11 Truth Movement.
Throughout the post 9/11 era, a panoply of Al Qaeda related events and circumstances is presented to public opinion on a daily basis. These include terrorist threats, warnings and attacks, police investigations, insurgencies and counter-insurgencies, country-level regime change, social conflict, sectarian violence, racism, religious divisions, Islamic thought, Western values, etc.
Muslims are presented as the perpetrators of the 9/11, thereby unleashing a Worldwide demonization campaign.
In turn, 9/11, Al Qaeda – War on Terrorism rhetoric permeates political discourse at all levels of government, including bipartisan debate on Capitol Hill, in committees of the House and the Senate, at the British House of Commons, and, lest we forget, at the United Nations Security Council. All these various bodies are complicit in a criminal project.
September 11 and Al Qaeda concepts, repeated ad nauseam have potentially traumatic impacts on the human mind and the ability of normal human beings to analyze and comprehend the "real outside World" of war, politics and the economic crisis.
What is at stake is human consciousness and comprehension based on concepts and facts.
With September 11 there are no verifiable "facts" and "concepts", because 9/11 as well as Al Qaeda have evolved into a media mythology, a legend, an invented ideological construct, used as an unsubtle tool of war propaganda.
Al Qaeda constitutes a stylized, fake and almost folkloric abstraction of terrorism, which permeates the inner consciousness of millions of people around the World.
Reference to Al Qaeda has become a dogma, a belief, which most people espouse unconditionally. According to the media, "Muslims were behind the attacks", thereby justifying a war of retribution against Muslim countries.
Racism and Islamophobia are an integral part of war propaganda.
Is this political indoctrination? Is it brain-washing? If so what is the underlying objective?
People's capacity to independently analyse World events, as well as address causal relationships pertaining to politics and society, is significantly impaired. That is the objective!
The routine use of 9/11 and Al Qaeda to generate blanket explanations of complex political events is meant to create confusion.
It prevents people from thinking. It strikes at the core of human values. In a sense, it destroys civilization.
All of these complex Al Qaeda related occurrences are explained by politicians, the corporate media, Hollywood and the Washington think tanks under a single blanket "bad guys" heading, in which Al Qaeda is casually and repeatedly pinpointed as "the cause" of numerous terror events around the World.
The criminality underlying post 9/11 propaganda is of much broader nature, affecting people's mindsets, redefining fundamental social, political and institutional relations.
"Crimes against Civilization" have been committed.
9/11 mythology precipitates the World into barbarity.
Posted at 01:05 PM | Permalink
Most of NSA's data collection authorized by order Ronald Reagan issued
By Ali Watkins
McClatchy Washington BureauNovember 21, 20132013-11-21T20:14:26Z
By Ali Watkins McClatchy_Newspapers
The flags at the National Security Agency's Threat Operations Center in Ft. Meade, Maryland
DOUG KAPUSTIN - Baltimore Sun/MCT
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- LinkExecutive Order 12333
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WASHINGTON - The National Security Agency's collection of information on Americans' cellphone and Internet usage reaches far beyond the two programs that have received public attention in recent months, to a presidential order that is older than the Internet itself.
Approved by President Ronald Reagan in 1981, Executive Order 12333 (referred to as "twelve-triple-three") still governs most of what the NSA does. It is a sweeping mandate that outlines the duties and foreign intelligence collection for the nation's 17 intelligence agencies. It is not governed by Congress, and critics say it has little privacy protection and many loopholes. What changes have been made to it have come through guidelines set by the attorney general or other documents.
The result is a web of intelligence law so complicated that it stymies even those tasked with interpreting it. As one former executive official said, "It's complicated stuff."
Confusing though it may be, the order remains the primary authority under which the country's intelligence agencies conduct the majority of their operations.
Neither the office of Attorney General Eric Holder nor that of Director of National Intelligence James Clapper would comment about 12333.
Under its provisions, agencies have the ability to function outside the confines of a warrant or court order, if approved by the attorney general. Its Section 2.5 effectively gives the attorney general the right to authorize intelligence agencies to operate outside the confines of judicial or congressional oversight, so long as it's in pursuit of foreign intelligence – including collecting information of Americans.
"The Attorney General hereby is delegated the power to approve the use for intelligence purposes, within the United States or against a United States person abroad, of any technique for which a warrant would be required," 12333 reads.
Monitoring the actual content of Americans' communications still requires a warrant under 12333, but metadata – the hidden information about a communication that tells where a person is, who he's communicating with, even the number of credit cards used in a transaction – can be swept up without congressional or court approval.
The impact of 12333 is enormous – and largely unknown. Documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden suggest that less than half of the metadata the NSA has collected has been acquired under provisions of the USA Patriot Act and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the two laws that have received the most attention for permitting NSA programs.
Gen. Keith Alexander, the NSA director, has ratified that impression, saying that the majority of NSA data is collected "solely pursuant to the authorities provided by Executive Order 12333."
At the time the order was written, the nation's intelligence community was dealing with a shattered reputation after decades of widespread abuses. The Church Committee – a special congressional panel tasked in the 1970s with investigating intelligence abuses – had revealed CIA efforts to cover up the Watergate scandal, the CIA's opening of Americans' mail, and the agency's efforts to assassinate Cuba's Fidel Castro.
Executive Order 12333 was intended to bolster a reeling intelligence community and further define its authority to conduct foreign intelligence gathering.
The global telecommunications network didn't exist, and collecting foreign communications posed little risk for Americans' data to be swept up in the dragnet.
But in the three decades since 12333 was written, global communications have changed dramatically. The order, however, has not.
"In 1996, when (12333) was 15 years old, we said, 'Gee, this probably ought to be revised.' Now we're more than 15 years after that," said John Bellinger, a former legal adviser to the National Security Council during the presidency of George W. Bush. Still, the order hasn't undergone any major change, "in part, because it's so difficult and complex to change it," he said.
The National Security Act of 1947 requires that Congress be kept "fully and currently informed" about "significant" intelligence activities. But 12333 activities receive little oversight. The problem, legal experts and lawmakers say, is that only the executive branch – and the intelligence agencies that are part of it – determines what "fully and currently informed" means and what details it needs to share with Congress.
"There's no clear definition," said House Intelligence Committee member Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who recently sparred with fellow committee members over whether the NSA had briefed the panel on its monitoring of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cellphone. "We need to have a bigger discussion of what our mutual understanding is of what we want to be informed of."
Schiff isn't alone in raising questions about how well informed Congress is kept of activities undertaken under 12333 authorities. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, has called for a broad review of what's taking place under 12333, noting that the order authorizes phone and email metadata collection beyond what the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act does.
Feinstein has consistently defended the NSA's collection of domestic cellphone metadata, saying the program under which it is doing so is overseen by both the courts and Congress. But even she has said the 12333 programs skirt similar protections.
"The other programs do not (have the same oversight as FISA). And that's what we need to take a look at," she said, adding that her committee has not been able to "sufficiently" oversee the programs run under the executive order. "Twelve-triple-three programs are under the executive branch entirely."
Feinstein has also said the order has few, if any, privacy protections. "I don't think privacy protections are built into it," she said. "It's an executive policy. The executive controls intelligence in the country."
Intelligence officials have said that each respective agency's 12333 collection is governed by supplemental guidelines written by the attorney general and that those guidelines protect Americans' data. But intelligence officials have admitted that most of those guidelines have not been revisited in decades and that they don't offer the same protections as the metadata collection programs authorized under the Patriot Act and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
A glimpse of those classified guidelines emerged at a hearing convened earlier this month of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, which Congress created in 2004 to oversee the government's expanded intelligence collection operations, but that until that meeting had never held a substantive hearing.
Pressing a panel of intelligence community lawyers, board members asked what evidence is required before U.S. intelligence agents are allowed to sift through metadata collected under 12333. They learned that virtually none is required.
Jim Dempsey, a member of the board who is the vice president for public policy at the Center for Democracy and Technology, a Washington-based organization encouraging free and open Internet, asked whether it was right that 12333 records can be searched without establishing a "reasonable, articulable suspicion," the standard needed for searching records collected under the Patriot Act or FISA.
The NSA's deputy general counsel, Rajesh De, acknowledged that that standard might not apply. "I think, yeah," he said. But he declined to say what rules might apply, referring by using jargon. "I don't know if we've declassified sort of minimization procedures," he said. "But there are different rules that apply."
Even those rules – whatever they are – can be broken, both intentionally and unintentionally. When they are, there is no requirement that the violation be reported outside the executive branch.
According to an internal memo leaked by Snowden and published in August, the NSA saw more than 2,000 compliance violations with its 12333 programs in the span of a year, from March 2011 to March 2012. For comparison, the agency tracked just over 700 violations in the same period in the telephone and Internet metadata collection programs that have received so much attention.
The 12333 violations were not reported to the congressional intelligence committees.
Intelligence community leaders have been loath to address 12333 issues when testifying before Congress. During a recent House Judiciary Committee hearing into metadata collections, Director of National Intelligence Clapper refused to answer when asked about specific violations.
"The subject matter of the hearing was Section 215 and 702," said Clapper, referring to sections of the Patriot Act and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, respectively. "And these violations . . . (occurred) under the auspices of Executive Order 12333."
Feinstein has said publicly that she thinks more attention needs to be paid to what takes place under 12333. A bill recently approved by the Senate Intelligence Committee would require increased congressional oversight of 12333, including more detailed reporting of what guidelines govern access to information collected under it and violations of those guidelines.
Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/11/21/209167/most-of-nsas-data-collection-authorized.html#storylink=cpy
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