WASHINGTON — A nonpartisan, independent review of interrogation and detention programs in the years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks concludes that “it is indisputable that the United States engaged in the practice of torture” and that the nation’s highest officials bore ultimate responsibility for it.
The sweeping, 577-page report says that while brutality has occurred in every American war, there never before had been “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.” The study, by an 11-member panel convened by the Constitution Project, a legal research and advocacy group, is to be released on Tuesday morning.
Debate over the coercive interrogation methods used by the administration of President George W. Bush has often broken down on largely partisan lines. The Constitution Project’s task force on detainee treatment, led by two former members of Congress with experience in the executive branch — a Republican, Asa Hutchinson, and a Democrat, James R. Jones — seeks to produce a stronger national consensus on the torture question.
While the task force did not have access to classified records, it is the most ambitious independent attempt to date to assess the detention and interrogation programs. A separate 6,000-page report on the Central Intelligence Agency’s record by the Senate Intelligence Committee, based exclusively on agency records, rather than interviews, remains classified.
“As long as the debate continues, so too does the possibility that the United States could again engage in torture,” the report says. Read more…
The black flag of Al Qaeda has been spotted flying over a public building in Libya, raising concerns that the country could lurch towards Muslim extremism
The flag, complete with Arabic script reading “there is no God but Allah” and full moon underneath, was seen flying above the Benghazi courthouse building, considered to be the seat of the revolution, according to the news website Vice.com.
The flag was said to be flying over the building alongside the Libyan national flag but the National Transitional Council has denied that it was responsible.
Vice.com also reported that Islamists had been seen driving around the city’s streets, waving the Al Qaeda flag from their cars and shouting “Islamiya, Islamiya! No East, nor West”.
The revelation came just days after it emerged that rebels in Libya have imposed Sharia law in the some parts of country since seizing power.
Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, chairman of the National Transitional Council, said Islamic Sharia law would be the “basic source” of legislation in free Libya.
The move towards Islamic extremism is likely to alarm many in the West who supported the ousting of Muammar Gaddafi.
Source: Telegraph UK
Robert Fisk writes: For 10 years, we’ve lied to ourselves to avoid asking the one real question
By their books, ye shall know them.
I’m talking about the volumes, the libraries – nay, the very halls of literature – which the international crimes against humanity of 11 September 2001 have spawned. Many are spavined with pseudo-patriotism and self-regard, others rotten with the hopeless mythology of CIA/Mossad culprits, a few (from the Muslim world, alas) even referring to the killers as “boys”, almost all avoiding the one thing which any cop looks for after a street crime: the motive.
Why so, I ask myself, after 10 years of war, hundreds of thousands of innocent deaths, lies and hypocrisy and betrayal and sadistic torture by the Americans – our MI5 chaps just heard, understood, maybe looked, of course no touchy-touchy nonsense – and the Taliban? Have we managed to silence ourselves as well as the world with our own fears? Are we still not able to say those three sentences: The 19 murderers of 9/11 claimed they were Muslims. They came from a place called the Middle East. Is there a problem out there? Read more…
Zbigniew Brzezinski (born March 28, 1928 in Warsaw, Poland) is a Polish American political scientist, geostrategist, and statesman who served as United States National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981.
Major foreign policy events during his term of office included the normalization of relations with the People’s Republic of China (and the severing of ties with the Republic of China), the signing of the second Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT II), the brokering of the Camp David Accords, the transition of Iran from an important US client state to an anti-Western Islamic Republic, encouraging dissidents in Eastern Europe and emphasizing certain human rights in order to undermine the influence of the Soviet Union, the financing of the mujahideen in Afghanistan in response to the Soviet deployment of forces there (allegedly either to help deter a Russian invasion, or to deliberately increase the chance of such an intervention occurring—or for both contradictory reasons simultaneously being embraced by separate US officials) and the arming of these rebels to counter the Soviet invasion.
He was chosen by Barack Obama’s as top Foreign Policy Advisor on the Middle East, and is also a scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and a member of various boards and councils, including the International Crisis Group.
With the TOP SECRET state of the art Spy technology known only as “a Flash Drive” (A.K.A USB Drive)!!!
Today, the msn front page Top buzzing article is an Associated Press news article titled: “How bin Laden emailed without being detected” which reveals how Bin Laden emails avoided CIA detection.
In the article, the Associated Press reveals the “secret” of what they called “Osama Bin Laden’s painstaking email system”, which “kept him one step ahead of the U.S. government’s best eavesdroppers”.
According to AP, Osama’s evil and extremely complicated methods, was described in detail to The Associated Press by a counterterrorism official and a second person briefed on the U.S. investigation, whom spoke to the AP “on condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive intelligence analysis”. It allowed Bin Laden to stay under the radar for over 10 years and frustrated Western efforts to trace him through cyberspace.
So what is Bin Laden’s very complicated and advanced system, that illuded the CIA & FBI, and prevented his detection?
Brace yourselves for the Shocking OBL Top Secert “Emailing System”, according to AP:
As the most wanted man alive (now dead) Osama Bin Laden, was “holed up in his walled compound in northeast Pakistan with no phone or Internet capabilities, bin Laden would type a message on his computer without an Internet connection, then save it using a thumb-sized flash drive. He then passed the flash drive to a trusted courier, who would head for a distant Internet cafe.
The article then continues to give us more detailed description of how the OBL email system:
At that location, the courier would plug the memory drive into a computer, copy bin Laden’s message into an email and send it. Reversing the process, the courier would copy any incoming email to the flash drive and return to the compound, where bin Laden would read his messages offline.
Worthy of the book “Flash Drive for Dummies” the AP articles then describes the above revelations as:
It was a slow, toilsome process. And it was so meticulous that even veteran intelligence officials have marveled at bin Laden’s ability to maintain it for so long.
Navy SEALs hauled away roughly 100 flash memory drives after they killed bin Laden, and officials said they appear to archive the back-and-forth communication between bin Laden and his associates around the world.”
SHOCKING! isn’t it?!
So the complicated toilsome meticulous painstaking CIA proof email system, is 100 flash drives, an annual membership of a local Internet Cafe, and an errand boy?
As it turns out avoiding CIA detection and illuding the Top Spy agencies of the world is fairly simple…
It’s either that the US government B.S. have Leaked into AP news network, OR that the CIA veteran intelligence officers are as intelligent as a not-so-intelligent 12 years old teenager!!!
By KATHY KELLY
“Where is Your Democracy?”
On May 5, 2011, CNN World News asked whether killing Osama bin Laden was legal under international law. Other news commentary has questioned whether it would have been both possible and advantageous to bring Osama bin Laden to trial rather than kill him.
World attention has been focused, however briefly, on questions of legality regarding the killing of Osama bin Laden. But, with the increasing use of Predator drones to kill suspected “high value targets” in Pakistan and Afghanistan, extrajudicial killings by U.S. military forces have become the new norm.
Just three days after Osama bin Laden was killed, an attack employing remote-control aerial drones killed fifteen people in Pakistan and wounded four. Last month, a drone attack killed 44 people in Pakistan’s tribal region. CNN reports that their Islamabad bureau has counted four drone strikes over the last month and a half. Friday’s suspected drone strike was the 21st this year. There were 111 strikes in 2010. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan estimated that 957 innocent civilians were killed in 2010.
By MARJORIE COHN
Why It Violated International Law
When he announced that Osama bin Laden had been killed by a Navy Seal team in Pakistan, President Barack Obama said, “Justice has been done.” Mr. Obama misused the word “justice” when he made that statement. He should have said, “Retaliation has been accomplished.” A former professor of constitutional law should know the difference between those two concepts. The word “justice” implies an act of applying or upholding the law.
Targeted assassinations violate well-established principles of international law. Also called political assassinations, they are extrajudicial executions. These are unlawful and deliberate killings carried out by order of, or with the acquiescence of, a government, outside any judicial framework.
Extrajudicial executions are unlawful, even in armed conflict. In a 1998 report, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions noted that “extrajudicial executions can never be justified under any circumstances, not even in time of war.” The U.N. General Assembly and Human Rights Commission, as well as Amnesty International, have all condemned extrajudicial executions.
By ANTHONY DiMAGGIO
Assassination Sans Regrets
A week’s hindsight has allowed for greater confidence in assessing the recent U.S. assassination of Osama bin Laden. Damning details have been slowly trickling out regarding the military operation, undertaken in the Pakistani town of Abbottabad. First, it was quietly revealed, contrary to the claims of Obama’s inner circle, that Osama had actually been executed. The admission that Osama was unarmed at the time of his death directly contradicted the administration’s earlier claim that bin Laden “engaged in a firefight,” and was subsequently killed as a result of his alleged attack on U.S. forces.
The open admission that the U.S. engages in assassinations no doubt jarred critics of U.S. policy in the Middle East and South/Central Asia. Those who hoped bin Laden would live to stand trial for the charges against him were disappointed, as Obama apparently ordered that he be taken dead or alive. It seems clear that the bin Laden assassination represents a fundamental abrogation of basic American legal principles and jurisprudence. That unarmed prisoners can be executed at will and denied basic rights to due process, to be charged in a court of law, and allowed basic representation will no doubt fail to bother belligerent nationalists. This contempt, however, should disturb those committed to the rule of law. Even someone as vile as Osama bin Laden deserved his day in court.
Obama’s “self-defense”-turned-execution operation isn’t the only revelation that materialized in recent days. Other details are now emerging that question the legitimacy of the operation altogether. For one, the popular U.S. narrative that Pakistan’s government has either been colluding with al Qaeda or was incompetently sheltering bin Laden is questionable. The Independent of London featured a story last week reporting, with regard to the Abbottabad residence at which bin Laden was killed, that the U.S. was “alerted [by Pakistani leaders] to [the] bin Laden compound in 2009” as a potential safe haven for al Qaeda, and that the CIA had used intelligence from the Pakistani government when tracking down bin Laden. Similarly, the Nation of Pakistan reported that the Abbottabad compound “had been under surveillance since 2003, resulting in the highly technical operation” by Pakistani forces in 2004 “which had led to the capture of a senior al Qaeda leader.”
By ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Barack Obama, who pledged to restore ethical honor to the White House after the Bush years, is now burying himself under an active volcano of lies, mostly but not exclusively concerning the assassination of Osama bin Laden.
There was scarcely a sentence in the President’s Sunday night address, or in the subsequent briefing by John Brennan, his chief counter-terrorism coordinator, that has not been subsequently retracted by CIA director Leon Panetta or the White House press spokesman, Jay Carney, or by various documentary records.
• The White House photograph of Obama, Clinton and top security advisors supposedly watching real-time footage of the Navy Seals’ onslaught on the Abbottabad compound, their killing of two men and a woman (excuse for the latter killing: the standard “caught in crossfire”) and liquidation of OBL himself turns out to have been a phony. BO and friends could have been watching basketball replays. Panetta has admitted the real-time video link stopped working before the Seals got into the compound.
• Panetta also admits Osama bin Laden was not armed, and that he did not hide behind his young wife’s skirt. He conceded that under military rules of engagement Osama should have been taken prisoner, but then added vaguely that he showed some unspecified form of resistance. He probably reached for his walking stick, since he has been ailing from kidney and liver problems. As any black or brown resident in, say, the purview of the Ramparts Division of the LAPD knows full well, reaching for a walking stick or even holding a cell phone can be a death warrant; multiply that likelihood by a factor of 100 if you are the world’s most wanted terrorist in front of a score of heavily armed and homicidal Navy SEALs, no doubt amped up on amphetamine.
WARNING: GRAPHIC PHOTOGRAPHS OF DEATH AND INJURY BELOW
Photographs acquired by Reuters and taken about an hour after the U.S. assault on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad in Pakistan show three dead men lying in pools of blood, but no weapons.
The photos, taken by a Pakistani security official who entered the compound after the early morning raid on Monday, show two men dressed in traditional Pakistani garb and one in a t-shirt, with blood streaming from their ears, noses and mouths.