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By James Ridgeway
Back in the 1980s, before the Cold War gave way to the War on Terror, American money and supplies helped Osama Bin Laden create Al Qaeda and build it into one of the world’s most successful terrorist organizations. And without the close alliances between Al Qaeda and our “allies” Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, the attack on the World Trade Towers could not have been carried out. What follows are the bare bones of what we know of this world as it existed in the days before September 11, 2001. (Some of the early material in this account first appeared in my book The Five Unanswered Questions About 9/11.)
April seemed to drift in, whimpering and, then, banging shut. Caresses and blows.
Easter slid by. Where was I? North Carolina? Kentucky? Maryland?
Easter’s just candy, anyway, shaped like eggs, and a White House lawn with children on the hunt. Though I do remember something about a rock rolled away from a tomb.
Prince William and Kate were royally rocking and rolling, a circumstance of pomposity.
Now, we’re a week into May, Derby time with a parade of hats and thoroughly bred animals. Oh, and horses, too, racing for the first jewel in the Triple Crown, no thorns allowed.
This is celebration season. And many are celebrating death—the assassination of that mythical decider who claimed responsibility for “inspiring” 9-11 and scared us to bookstores to purchase bibles in freedomville where we can shop and choose a wireless plan with a special friends-and-family rate, radiation exposure, dropped calls, and surveillance included.
May 6th, 2011 - This week on War News Radio, " Made in Afghanistan,” we hear the final part of a two part report on the Afghan rug trade. Then, we examine American attitudes towards Osama bin Laden’s death. Finally, we learn about China’s investment role in Afghanistan. But first, a round up of this week's news.
May 7, 2011 - In a rare public appeal, the father of a U.S. soldier held captive in the Afghan war has sought the help of Pakistan's military in securing the release of Spc. Bowe Bergdahl.
Idaho resident Bob Bergdahl, in a video post on YouTube, directly addresses Pakistan Army Chief of Staff Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Lieutenant-General Ahmad Shuja Pasha, the head of the country's intelligence service.
By John Grant
Supplying an army at a distance drains the public coffers and impoverishes the common people.
--Sun-Tzu, The Art of War
With the killing of Osama bin Laden by a 79-member JSOC hunter/killer team inside Pakistan, the nation has entered yet another of those moments when a news media that professes independence has become an unashamed cheerleader for militarism.
No one can deny the JSOC (Joint Special Operations Command) Seal Team executed its killing mission with great competence and aplomb. They were also lucky that the bin Laden entourage had apparently become so confident of its safety that it was a bit lackadaisical.
The National Security Archive at George Washington University has been releasing numerous Government documents and reports the past couple of days on bin Laden, our Government as related to him and that region especially Pakistan. The criminal cronies, both in and out of the Government at the time they took over from the Clinton administration to 9/11 and beyond have been coming out of the closet, including their talking heads, trying to justify their policies, especially as to torture, illegal by our laws and the international laws we help establish, that they should share in the take down of bin Laden or should receive the glory from. Frankly they're raising more questions by their tactic, questions that have been there the whole past decade some being answered with hard evidence that has leaked out and coming from the Iraq War Inquiries.
Four of the five people shot to death in the operation that killed Osama bin Laden, including the al-Qaida leader himself, were unarmed and never fired a shot, U.S. officials told NBC News on Wednesday — an account that differs markedly from the Obama administration's original claims that the Navy SEALs came under heavy small-arms fire in a prolonged firefight.
According to the officials' account, as the first SEAL team moved into the compound, they took small-arms fire from the guest house in the compound. The SEALs returned fire, killing bin Laden's courier and the courier's wife, who died in the crossfire.
The second SEAL team entered the first floor of the main residence and could see a man standing in the dark with one hand behind his back. Fearing he was hiding a weapon, the SEALs shot and killed the lone man, who turned out to be unarmed.
By Dave Lindorff
In the end they couldn't get away with it.
As I noted back on Monday in my first article on the Sunday Navy SEAL raid into Pakistan that killed Osama Bin Laden, President Obama himself spilled the beans in his initial midnight statement, when he said, “After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body.”
After that perhaps unintentionally honest account of an execution, the lies began, with White House chief counter-terrorism advisor (great title huh?) John O. Brennan fabulating that Bin Laden had "engaged in a firefight" with the SEALs who "entered the area of the house he was in," and adding, "Whether or not he got off any rounds, I frankly don't know." Then there were the lies that Bin Laden had shamefully used his wife as a "human shield," that he had been armed with an assault rifle, etc.
I'm going to give this speech tonight to a crowd of drunk young people. If I'm not back by morning, ask around if there have been any "Islamic burials."
About 10 years ago a bunch of psychotic killers crashed planes into buildings. A tall skinny guy who took credit said he was protesting the presence of US troops in Saudi Arabia and US support for Israel's war on Palestinians. That wasn't exactly going to hold up in a court of law as a justification for mass-murder. But the U.S. government had already, before 9-11, turned down offers from the Taliban to put bin Laden on trial in a third country, and it turned those offers down again.
Restoring 'America's Honor' means living by ours and those international Laws we helped write, that means Torture is Illegal and Inhumane, any torture not just water boarding, which by the way is Not a fun experience, just ask any of us who've gone through CI/SERE training, that's why they use it in the training.
May 3: Malcolm Nance, former master instructor and chief of training at the Navy`s Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape School (the SERE School), talks with Rachel Maddow about the infrastructure of al-Qaida and the importance of Islamic democracy and the role of human intelligence in finding Osama bin Laden.
First, correspondents Stephen Grey and Martin Smith go inside The Secret War and uncover new details of CIA-funded Afghan militas tasked with guarding the border, gathering intelligence and launching kill raids against the insurgents and their Al Qaeda allies. Based in Afghanistan, their work is focused on Pakistan.
A former commander of one of these teams, the Khost Protection Force (KPF), tells FRONTLINE about how the team crosses the Afghan border into Pakistan's tribal areas. Under the protection of drone aircraft, they fire mortars against Taliban and Al Qaeda targets inside Pakistan.
By Gareth Porter, IPS
WASHINGTON, May 3, 2011 (IPS) - When George W. Bush rejected a Taliban offer to have Osama bin Laden tried by a moderate group of Islamic states in mid- October 2001, he gave up the only opportunity the United States would have to end bin Laden's terrorist career for the next nine years.
The al Qaeda leader was able to escape into Pakistan a few weeks later, because the Bush administration had no military plan to capture him.
The last Taliban foreign minister, Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil, offered at a secret meeting in Islamabad Oct. 15, 2001 to put bin Laden in the custody of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), to be tried for the 9/11 terror attacks on the United States, Muttawakil told IPS in an interview in Kabul last year.
By Yasmeen Ali
Lahore, Pakistan -- I am incredulous!
I’ll say one thing: this US Special Forces operation deserves a standing ovation for immaculate execution. Except that some details do get confusing.
Maybe I’m just slow, but truly, viewing the still pictures of the compound where Osama was shot to death that are being aired on local TV here, I am left spell-bound by many odd contradictions.
First, the wall that encircled the compound, which was blasted through to allow entry to the US attackers, showed a humble charpoy next to a water geyser and a few odd household items stacked right next to the opening. Not a hair out of place, so to speak. It was all a little too orderly for my lawyerly taste. Wouldn’t something have been damaged or knocked over at least?
My article on the killing of Osama bin Laden has landed more positive Emails in my box than perhaps any other. It seems to be making the rounds. Here it is translated into German along with the English original.
This is what should have happened directly after and as to 9/11! Terrorism is a criminal offense, international criminal terrorism is an international crime. We had the backing of most of the World then, meaning working with them and their resources added to ours. There should never have been Iraq and all that went with that as well as the added recruiting tools in Afghanistan. Once the Taliban were driven from there we should have worked to reign in the ghost al Qaeda while helping to rebuild Afghanistan after decades of war destruction, as we promised. But we walked away once again, like we did after the Afghan/Soviet debacle, rest is the present history as we created the next generations of bin Ladens!!
By Dave Lindorff
According to the brief announcement made by President Barack Obama last night, the operation in Pakistan by US Navy SEAL special forces was a well-planned hit job.
“They took care to avoid civilian casualties,” the president said of the top-secret night-time raid by helicopter on a highly secure compound near a military base in Abbottadad, a city only about an hour’s drive drive from, Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital city. He added, “After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body.”
Not for long though. After “double-tapping” bin Laden--that is a military term for the illegal process of executing a wounded person--or insuring that a person is truly dead--that involves firing not one but two bullets into the head--his body was taken out of Pakistan by the departing SEAL raiding party, and reportedly buried (dumped) at sea.
On May 1st, An Infuriating Anniversary, the day of the Mission Accomplished' Speech and Banner as to Iraq eight years prior, the War of Choice, that turned the Afghan Operation into same, nothing to do with 9/11 al Qaeda nor bin Laden, the Afghan 'Mission is Finally Accomplished', bin Laden dead, after creating possibly thousands of bin Ladens seeking blowback!
Tens of thousands dead, millions turned into refugee's, lives and countries destroyed, and still no 'Sacrifice' as to the results for the Veterans of nor Accountability for the lies of those who ordered the destructive decade plus, Still Ongoing!!
The double standard of the U.S. mindset, now widely known! Wonder how much the many Iraqi's, in our hands, will settle for if even having the chance to seek retribution and for much much more then just torture and mistreatment and the citizens here are willing to pay!
May 01, 2011 - Iraqi lawmakers approved a controversial $400 million settlement Saturday for Americans who claim they were abused by Saddam Hussein's regime during the 1990 invasion of Kuwait.
The settlement is part of a deal reached between Baghdad and Washington last year to end years of legal battles by U.S. citizens who claim they were tortured or traumatized, including hundreds held as human shields.
As a foreigner visiting Pakistan, this weekend's protests in Peshawar against U.S. drones remind me of prior Pakistani calls for sovereignty and independence.
On April 23, 1930, British troops opened fire on peaceful Muslim protestors in Peshawar in a vigil to gain their independence from British colonial powers. Eighty years later, the struggle for self-determination and democracy continues and is now a national theme for a country besieged by external interests.
On April 23, 2011, Pakistani women and men from around the country launched a national nonviolent movement to stop the U.S. from using drone bombs on their country.
Photo: Afif Sarhan/IRIN: Rayhan Nasir, 24, is losing hope after two years spent searching for his father (file photo)
27 April 2011 (IRIN) - The government has set up a committee to trace thousands of Iraqis missing since the 2003 US-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein, says an official.
“Our definition of missing people are those who disappeared in military operations, terrorist attacks or those who are reported kidnapped but have not appeared yet,” Maj. Farouk Al-Araji, office manager of the Chief Commander of Iraq’s Military Command, told a news conference in Baghdad on 25 April.
They should take a poll as to our, the U.S., standing now in this world stage and it wouldn't have even needed Wikileaks to be mentioned, Especially as we've made no move to dig out the accountability!!
Apr 26, 2011 - A 24-country poll found that most people believe WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange is not a criminal and should not be charged by the U.S. government for releasing thousands of secret U.S. documents.
The poll by Ipsos found 79 percent of people were aware of WikiLeaks and two-thirds of those believed Assange should not be charged and three-quarters supported the group's bid to make public secret government or corporate documents.
President Bashar Assad co-operated with the USA’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in its anti-Al Qaeda operations. As a result of this co-operation, Syria allegedly became a favourite rendition centre of the CIA where Al Qaeda suspects were brought for interrogation by Syrian interrogators who had no qualms over the use of torture.
This week on War news Radio First, we learn about the Raymond Davis case and the implications of Islamic and secular law.
Then, we hear about Shepherds of Helmand, a recently released documentary about the war in Afghanistan.
These stories, plus this week's news.
Johan Spanner for The New York Times: A view of Nisour Square, site of shooting in September 2007 involving former Blackwater contractors that killed 17 Iraqis
April 22, 2011 - A federal appeals court on Friday reopened the criminal case against four former American military contractors accused of manslaughter in connection with a shooting that killed at least 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad in 2007.
April 20, 2011 - L. Tammy Duckworth came to Hartford on Monday and told a sad story.
Duckworth was a Black Hawk helicopter pilot in 2004 when she lost both legs and the partial use of one arm in combat. Now, she's assistant secretary of veterans affairs in D.C., and recently, she was in Vermont talking to a man who was staying with his family at a homeless shelter.
That's sad enough, but the man was excited. A member of the Vermont National Guard, he was getting ready to deploy, and his family had received permission to stay in the shelter for the duration of his tour overseas.
Imagine. Excitement that your family could stay in a homeless shelter.
Displaced families head out of the conflict-hit Orakzai Agency in Afghanistan
21 April 2011 (IRIN) - One irony of the current security situation in Afghanistan is that foreign forces, whose ostensible aim is to protect civilians while fighting the Taliban, may be responsible - directly or indirectly - for the bulk of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the country, whose number is rising.
About 400 individuals were displaced each day in 2006-2010 - 730,000 in total - mostly due to military operations by US/NATO forces, according to the Oslo-based Internal Displacement Monitoring Center (IDMC), an affiliate of the Norwegian Refugee Council.