Torturer-in-Chief Turned Savior of Freedom?

Former President George W. Bush gave a speech yesterday implicitly slamming President Donald Trump for dragging down democracy. Bush told political cronies and other attendees: ‘We are gathered in the cause of liberty this is a unique moment.’ He assured listeners that freedom ‘should be the defining commitment of our country, and the hope of the world.’ Bush invoked the ‘high ideals’ of our nation, declaring, ‘We become the heirs of James Madison by understanding the genius and values of the U. S. Constitution.’
After the speech, much of the media exalted Bush as if he were the second coming of George Washington. Twitter showcased the spiel with an unusual summary in its ‘trending tweets’ lineup – “George W. Bush gve a powerful speech on democracy, freedom, and American values.”
If Bush had never been president, it would be easier to understand the adulation. But Bush was one of the most disastrous, authoritarian presidents in modern American history. Bush committed more abuses of power than could be recounted in anything less than a book. But there was one issue which should forever define Bush in Americans’ memory.
After the 9/11 attacks, Bush’s lawyers quickly assured him that the Constitution and federal law no longer constrained the president’s power. Bush proceeded to authorize the type of torture regime that civilized nations had formally abandoned hundreds of years earlier.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on 10/20/2017.

LET’S MAKE AMERICA FREE AGAIN: 230 YEARS AFTER THE CONSTITUTION, WE’RE WALKING A DANGEROUS ROAD

‘I tell you, freedom and human rights in America are doomed. The U. S. government will lead the American people in – and the West in general – into an unbearable hell and a choking life.’ – Osama bin Laden (October 2001)
Ironically, during the same week that we mark the 16th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, we find ourselves commemorating the 230th anniversary of the U. S. Constitution.
While there has been much to mourn about the loss of our freedoms in the years since 9/11, there has been very little to celebrate. Indeed, we have gone from being a nation that took great pride in serving as a model of a representative democracy to being a model of how to persuade a freedom-loving people to march in lockstep with a police state.
What began with the passage of the USA Patriot Act in the wake of the 9/11 attacks has snowballed into the eradication of every vital safeguard against government overreach, corruption and abuse.
Since then, we have been terrorized, traumatized, and tricked into a semi-permanent state of compliance. The bogeyman’s names and faces change over time, but the end result remains the same: our unquestioning acquiescence to anything the government wants to do in exchange for the phantom promise of safety and security.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on SEPTEMBER 12, 2017.

The Obama Legacy: ‘Crippling Debt, Massive Unemployment, Welfare-based Society, Deteriorated Infrastructure, Massive Inflation, And A Worthless Fiat Currency’

Rapacity performed by an outgoing Democratic president is intentionally downplayed or simply ignored by the mainstream media. We saw such unbridled rapacity in the atavistic way the Clintons left the White House when they departed in 2000. They stole and/or vandalized furniture and furnishings of the White House and left it in a deplorable state. From a perspective of his official actions, Bill Clinton did things such as pardon Tommy Rich and closed a few loopholes to ensure his Clinton Foundation deals did not fall apart after he surrendered the Oval Office.
The Obamas are not following suit in the manner of the Clintons with pillaging the White House for three reasons. Firstly, although he committed dozens of offenses that would have merited it, Obama was not impeached, whereas Clinton was. For those who may hold askance with the conditions of impeachment for Obama, let us remember that under the parameters of the National Defense Authorization Act and the tenets of more than half a dozen overlapping executive orders, the United States (and the world) were ‘redefined’ as a ‘battlefield’ in the war on terror. The emergency status has never been lifted: that status was affirmed and inculcated under the Bush administration shortly after 9/11 that categorized us as being in a state of war (against terrorism) and a continuous state of emergency.
Under such ‘wartime’ conditions, the words of Obama in 2012 were clearly treasonous and constituted an impeachable offense.

This post was published at shtfplan on December 30th, 2016.

Saudi Arabia Lobbying To Amend Sept 11 Law

Following last week’s report that Saudi Arabia is starting to apply pressure on the Trump administration by hinting it could move the Aramco IPO away from New York to some still undeteremined venue due to concerns the recently passed Sept 11 law could make business in the US problematic, on Sunday Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister said he has been lobbying US legislators to change a law allowing victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks to sue the kingdom.
According to AFP, Adel al-Jubeir told reporters he had returned from an extended stay in the United States, which was partly “to try to persuade them that there needs to be an amendment of the law”, the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA). In September, the US Congress voted overwhelmingly to override President Barack Obama’s veto of the JASTA. While 15 of the 19 Al-Qaeda hijackers who carried out the 9/11 attacks were Saudi, Riyadh continues to deny any ties to the plotters who killed nearly 3,000 people, and is worried disclosures in court could lead to material complications about conducting business in America.
“We believe the law, that curtails sovereign immunities, represents a grave danger to the international system,” Jubeir said at a joint press conference with visiting US Secretary of State John Kerry.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 19, 2016.

Trump vs. Clinton: The Eccentric Billionaire vs The Sociopathic Criminal

Below is a guest post from my colleague, who requested anonymity. 12 years ago, a friend of mine and I both agreed that – and this was after Enron, 9/11 and Colin Powell’s self-admitted lies about Iraq which were used to justify a military overthrow of the Hussein Government – that we would eventually see things occur in this country that would blow our minds (as if those three events were relatively ‘non-events). I can say with complete sincerity that two things completely blow my mind now: 1) the degree to which corruption and criminality have completely enveloped our economic, financial and Governmental system and 2) the fact that a criminal – with plenty of hacked emails on display to prove certain acts of criminality – is permitted to run for President.
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I am a casual observer having learned that when all you are left with is hope, it’s thatmoment you realize it’s over – whether it’s a game, investing, politics, etc. Unfortunately I reached that point many years ago with the state of politics and mainstream media’s (MSM) blatant biases towards…..well everything they touch. Last night’s Presidential Debate (sic) clearly reinforces my position that all we are left with is hope. Hope that things cannot get worse, hope that eventually things get better, hope that this is not simply a horrific Orwellian Nightmare, although the latter appears to be where we’ve arrived full frontal. I didn’t watch the debate looking for my opinion of the ‘candidates’ to change as I have zero plans to vote in this election. Yes, we’ve devolved to that point in history. I watched the debate for the same reason most people would watch a NASCAR race: waiting to see a wreck.
In attempting to summarize the spectacle from last evening, the first thought I had is ‘if aliens were watching from their spaceship what would they be thinking?’

This post was published at Investment Research Dynamics on October 10, 2016.

Lawmakers Vow Override of Obama’s 9/11 Victims Bill Veto

Throughout Obama’s presidency, his vetoes have always survived Congressional challenges. That his first might be a bill about Saudi Arabia reflects waning Saudi influence in lobbying Congress to get their way, and what would likely have once been a very safe veto is now at serious risk.
Obama’s Friday veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) aims to block a bill that would allow family members of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia in American courts. The House and Senate both passed JASTA unanimously, and many in both parties are expressing confidence they have the votes for an override of the veto.
The House was widely expected to override easily, but Sen. Chuck Schumer (D – NY) insisted that the Senate too would ‘quickly’ override Obama’s veto, insisting that the Saudis must be held accountable if the courts find they were culpable in 9/11.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 26, 2016.

Bombs Away! A 9/11 Retrospective On Washington’s 15-Year Air War

On the morning of September 11, 2001, al-Qaeda launched its four-plane air force against the United States. On board were its precision weapons: 19 suicidal hijackers. One of those planes, thanks to the resistance of its passengers, crashed in a Pennsylvania field. The other three hit their targets – the two towers of the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D. C. – with the kind of ‘precision’ we now associate with the laser-guided weaponry of the U. S. Air Force.
From its opening salvo, in other words, this conflict has been an air war. With its 75% success rate, al-Qaeda’s 9/11 mission was a historic triumph, accurately striking three out of what assumedly were its four chosen targets. (Though no one knows just where that plane in Pennsylvania was heading, undoubtedly it was either the Capitol or the White House to complete the taking out of the icons of American financial, military, and political power.) In the process, almost 3,000 people who had no idea they were in the bombsights of an obscure movement on the other side of the planet were slaughtered.
It was a barbaric, if daring, plan and an atrocity of the first order. Almost 15 years later, such suicidal acts with similar ‘precision’ weaponry (though without the air power component) continue to be unleashed across the Greater Middle East, Africa, and sometimes elsewhere, taking a terrible toll – from a soccer game in Iraq to a Kurdish wedding party in southeastern Turkey (where the ‘weapon’ may have been a boy).
The effect of the September 11th attacks was stunning. Though the phrase would have no resonance or meaning (other than in military circles) until the U. S. invasion of Iraq began a year and a half later, 9/11 qualifies as perhaps the most successful example of ‘shock and awe’ imaginable. The attack was promptly encapsulated in screaming headlines as the ‘Pearl Harbor of the Twenty-First Century’ or a ‘New Day of Infamy,’ and the images of those towers crumbling in New York at what was almost instantly called ‘Ground Zero’ (as if the city had experienced a nuclear strike) were replayed again and again to a stunned world. It was an experience that no one who lived through it was likely to forget.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on September 12, 2016.

Tyranny Of 9/11: The Building Blocks Of The American Police State From A-Z

No one man can terrorize a whole nation unless we are all his accomplices.’
‘ Edward R. Murrow
John W. Whitehead
Huffington Post
We’ve walked a strange and harrowing road since September 11, 2001, littered with the debris of our once-vaunted liberties.
Over the past 15 years, we have gone from a nation that took great pride in being a model of a representative democracy to being a model of how to persuade the citizenry to march in lockstep with a police state.
What began with the passage of the USA Patriot Act in October 2001 has snowballed into the eradication of every vital safeguard against government overreach, corruption and abuse.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on SEPTEMBER 11, 2016.

American Pravda: How the CIA Invented “Conspiracy Theories”

A year or two ago, I saw the much-touted science fiction film Interstellar, and although the plot wasn’t any good, one early scene was quite amusing. For various reasons, the American government of the future claimed that our Moon Landings of the late 1960s had been faked, a trick aimed at winning the Cold War by bankrupting Russia into fruitless space efforts of its own. This inversion of historical reality was accepted as true by nearly everyone, and those few people who claimed that Neil Armstrong had indeed set foot on the Moon were universally ridiculed as ‘crazy conspiracy theorists.’ This seems a realistic portrayal of human nature to me.
Obviously, a large fraction of everything described by our government leaders or presented in the pages of our most respectable newspapers – from the 9/11 attacks to the most insignificant local case of petty urban corruption – could objectively be categorized as a ‘conspiracy theory’ but such words are never applied. Instead, use of that highly loaded phrase is reserved for those theories, whether plausible or fanciful, that do not possess the endorsement stamp of establishmentarian approval.
Put another way, there are good ‘conspiracy theories’ and bad ‘conspiracy theories,’ with the former being the ones promoted by pundits on mainstream television shows and hence never described as such. I’ve sometimes joked with people that if ownership and control of our television stations and other major media outlets suddenly changed, the new information regime would require only a few weeks of concerted effort to totally invert all of our most famous ‘conspiracy theories’ in the minds of the gullible American public. The notion that nineteen Arabs armed with box-cutters hijacked several jetliners, easily evaded our NORAD air defenses, and reduced several landmark buildings to rubble would soon be universally ridiculed as the most preposterous ‘conspiracy theory’ ever to have gone straight from the comic books into the minds of the mentally ill, easily surpassing the absurd ‘lone gunman’ theory of the JFK assassination.

This post was published at Lew Rockwell on September 6, 2016.

Bringing an End to the Forever War

This article appeared on War on the Rocks on August 29, 2016.
‘The Constitution supposes, what the History of all Governments demonstrates,’ James Madison wrote to Thomas Jefferson in 1798, ‘that the Executive is the branch of power most interested in war…. It has accordingly with studied care, vested the question of war in the Legislature.’ As James Wilson had earlier explained to the delegates at the Pennsylvania ratifying convention: ‘This system will not hurry us into war; it is calculated to guard against it.’
In the post-9/11 era, the United States has drifted towards a radically different regime. Two successive presidents have treated the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) as a wholesale, potentially permanent delegation of congressional war powers – a writ for war without temporal or geographic limits.
The 2001 AUMF was passed by the 107th Congress three days after the 9/11 attacks and targeted those who ‘planned, authorized, [or] committed’ the attacks and those who ‘aided’ or ‘harbored’ them. This referred to, respectively, al-Qaeda and the Taliban although they were not named in the authorization. Judging by what they said at the time, the legislators who passed the resolution did not imagine that they’d sanctioned an open-ended, multi-generational war. This AUMF was nothing like the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution that authorized the Vietnam War, then-Sen. Joe Biden insisted after the vote. This authorization was limited: ‘we do not say pell-mell, ‘Go do anything, any time, any place.”

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner by Gene Healy, Cato Institute ‘ August 30, 2016.

Trump’s Terrorist Fear-Mongering – – Raucous Cover Band For The War Party

Trump’s Terrorist Fear-Mongering – – Raucous Cover Band For The War Party
Contrary to the spurious ‘morning in America’ refrains of the Democratic convention, the nation is heading for ruin but not due to violent crimes or terrorist threats on main street; it’s owing to the larcenous economic policy crimes of the Imperial City which Trump’s GOP convention narrative hardly mentioned.
There is a growing likelihood, therefore, that the Trump campaign will be entirely sidetracked from the core economic crisis of Flyover America. That’s especially owing to The Donald’s shrill remonstrations about the dangers of domestic terrorist attacks.
By contrast, after 15 years it is abundantly evident that the horrific attack of 9/11 was a complete fluke. It could have been readily thwarted by alert intelligence work, and even then it only happened because of the complicity of Saudi Arabian officials.
In fact, the San Diego based Saudi handlers of two of the 19 terrorists received wire transfers of more than $75,000 from the Saudi ambassador’s wife. We now know from the recently released 28 pages of classified text from the Joint Inquiry that at least one of the handlers – – Omar al-Bayoumi – – was a Saudi agent. The report leaves little doubt that the Prince Bandar faction of the Saudi ruling family facilitated the murderous crime against 3,000 innocent Americans.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on August 2, 2016.

It Is A Smoking Gun – – Prince Bandar And Other Saudis Financed The 9/11 Terrorists

News reports about the recently released 28 pages of the Joint Inquiry into the 9/11 attacks are typically dismissive: this is nothing new, it’s just circumstantial evidence, and there’s no ‘smoking gun.’ Yet given what the report actually says – and these news accounts are remarkably sparse when it comes to verbatim quotes – it’s hard to fathom what would constitute a smoking gun.
To begin with, let’s start with what’s not in these pages: there are numerous redactions. And they are rather odd. When one expects to read the words ‘CIA’ or ‘FBI,’ instead we get a blacked-out word. Entire paragraphs are redacted – often at crucial points. So it’s reasonable to assume that, if there is a smoking gun, it’s contained in the portions we’re not allowed to see. Presumably the members of Congress with access to the document prior to its release who have been telling us that it changes their entire conception of the 9/11 attacks – and our relationship with the Saudis – read theunredacted version. Which points to the conclusion that the omissions left out crucial information – perhaps including the vaunted smoking gun.
In any case, what we have access to makes more than just a substantial case: it shows that the Saudi government – including top officials, such as then Saudi ambassador to the US, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, and other members of the royal family – financed and actively aided the hijackers prior to September 11, 2001.
Support for at least two of the hijackers when they arrived in the US was extended by three key individuals:

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner by Justin Raimondo ‘ July 18, 2016.

The Myth of the ‘War on Terrorism’

Remember ‘We’re fighting them over there so we don’t have to fight them over here’? That was the justification for the worldwide war on terrorism the Bush administration trumpeted in the early days of the post-9/11 era. Keeping in mind that the American people don’t really care about what goes on thousands of miles away, and that the purpose of our foreign policy is – ostensibly – to keep us safe here at home, the Bushies and their neocon Praetorian Guard always kept their focus on the threat that was supposedly hanging over our heads: another 9/11. As that Old Right prophet Garet Garrett put it some sixty years ago, US foreign policy was rationalized to the public with ‘a complex of vaunting and fear,’ and this was the fear part.
But now we hear that the latest iteration of the Terrorist Threat – ISIS – is losing ground in Syria, its home base: some 12 percent of its territory has been lost to a combination of opponents, and the Caliphate, we’re told, is shrinking. So does that mean the Terrorist Threat is abating, and we can get back to living our lives?
Heck no!
As CNN reports:
‘IHS [Information Handling Services] senior analyst Columb Strack says that ‘as the Islamic State’s caliphate shrinks and it becomes increasingly clear that its governance project is failing, the group is re-prioritizing insurgency.’
‘He told CNN: ‘As a result, we unfortunately expect an increase in mass casualty attacks and sabotage of economic infrastructure, across Iraq and Syria, and further afield, including Europe.’
‘In other words, ISIS is going to become a more ‘traditional’ terror group, boasting of its international reach to attract recruits and bolster morale as it loses ground in Iraq and Syria.’
So let’s see if I have this straight: we fought them over there so we don’t have to fight them over here, but now that we’re winning over there they’re coming over there.
Got that?

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on July 13, 2016.

Ron Paul: Don’t Let Them Take Your Liberty After Orlando

Last week America was rocked by the cold-blooded murder of 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Unlike the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the Orlando shooter appears to be a lone gunman who, while claiming allegiance to ISIS, was not actually working with a terrorist group. About the only thing Orlando has in common with 9/11 is the way power-hungry politicians and federal officials wasted no time using it to justify expanding government and restricting liberty.
Immediately following the shooting, we began to hear renewed calls for increased government surveillance of Muslims, including spying on Muslim religious services. Although the Orlando shooter was born in the US, some are using the shooting to renew the debate over Muslim immigration. While the government certainly should prevent terrorists from entering the country, singling out individuals for government surveillance and other violations of their rights because of religious faith violates the First Amendment and establishes a dangerous precedent that will be used against other groups. In addition, scapegoating all Muslims because of the act of one deranged individual strengthens groups like ISIS by making it appear that the US government is at war with Islam.
The Orlando shooting is being used to justify mass surveillance and warrantless wiretapping. For the past three years, the House of Representatives passed an amendment to the Defense Department appropriations bill limiting mass surveillance. But, last week, the same amendment was voted down. The only difference between this year’s debate and previous debates was that this year defenders of the surveillance state were able to claim that the Orlando shooting justifies shredding the Fourth Amendment.
The fact that the Orlando shooter had twice been investigated by the FBI shows that increased surveillance and wiretapping would not have prevented the shooting. Mass surveillance also creates a ‘needle in a haystack’ problem that can make it difficult, or impossible, for law enforcement to identify real threats. Unfortunately, evidence that giving up liberty does not increase security has never deterred those who spread fear to gain support for increased government power.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on June 21, 2016.

Memorial Day And The Abolition Of Historical Memory

We might as well get rid of Memorial Day, for all the good it does us. Originally ‘Decoration Day,’ the last Monday in May has been the designated time for us to remember the war dead and honor their sacrifice – while, perhaps, taking in the lessons of the many conflicts that have marked our history as a free nation. In line with the modern trend of universal trivialization, however, the holiday has been paganized to mark the beginning of summer, when we get out the barbecue grill and have the neighbors over for hamburgers and beer. As for contemplating the meaning of the day in the context of our current and recent wars, that is left to those few pundits who pay attention to foreign policy issues, or else to writers of paeans to the ‘Greatest Generation’ – World War II being the only modern war our panegyrists deign to recall, since it is relatively untouched by the ravages of historical revisionism.
Indeed, as far as our wars are concerned, the very concept of historical memory has vanished from the post-9/11 world. It seems the earth was born anew on September 11, 2001, and only ragged remnants of our mystified past – mostly from World War II and the Civil War – survived the purge. In the new version our victories are exaggerated and glorified, while our defeats – e.g. Vietnam, Korea, our nasty little covert wars in Central and South America – are not even mentioned, let alone considered in depth.
The abolition of historical memory is one of the worst aspects of modernity: it is certainly the most depressing. For the modern man, it’s an effort to recall what happened last week, never mind the last century. The news cycle spins madly and ever-faster, and the result is that we are lost in the blur of Now: for all intents and purposes, we are a people without a history, who recall past events – if we remember them at all – as one would summon a vague and confusing dream.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner by Justin Raimondo ‘ May 30, 2016.

More Missing Pages – – The FBI Is Keeping 80,000 Secret Files on the Saudis and 9/11

The Obama administration may soon release 28 classified pages from a congressional investigation that allegedly links Saudis in the United Statesto the 9/11 attackers. A former Republican member of the 9/11 Commission alleged Thursday that there was’clear evidence’ of support for the hijackers from Saudi officials.
But in Florida, a federal judge is weighing whether to declassify portions of some 80,000 classified pages that could reveal far more about the hijackers’ Saudis connections and their activities in the weeks preceding the worst attack on U. S. soil.
The still-secret files speak to one of the strangest and most enduring mysteries of the 9/11 attacks. Why did the Saudi occupants of a posh house in gated community in Sarasota, Florida, suddenly vanish in the two weeks prior to the attacks? And had they been in touch with the leader of the operation, Mohamed Atta, and two of his co-conspirators?
No way, the FBI says, even though the bureau’s own agents did initially suspect the family was linked to some of the hijackers. On further scrutiny, those connections proved unfounded, officials now say.
But a team of lawyers and investigative journalists has found what they say is hard evidence pointing in the other direction. Atta did visit the family before he led 18 men to their deaths and murdered 3,000 people, they say, and phone records connect the house to members of the 9/11 conspiracy.
The FBI did initially suspect something was off when their agents descended on the Sarasota house shortly after the attacks, tipped off by suspicious neighbors who had always found the family aloof.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on May 13, 2016.

The 28 Blank Pages And The 9/11 Cover-up – -All Roads Point To The Saudis And Bush Buddy Bandar

In its report on the still-censored ’28 pages’ implicating the Saudi government in 9/11, ’60 Minutes’ last weekend said the Saudi role in the attacks has been ‘soft-pedaled’ to protect America’s delicate alliance with the oil-rich kingdom.
That’s quite an understatement.
Actually, the kingdom’s involvement was deliberately covered up at the highest levels of our government. And the coverup goes beyond locking up 28 pages of the Saudi report in a vault in the US Capitol basement. Investigations were throttled. Co-conspirators were let off the hook.
Case agents I’ve interviewed at the Joint Terrorism Task Forces in Washington and San Diego, the forward operating base for some of the Saudi hijackers, as well as detectives at the Fairfax County (Va.) Police Department who also investigated several 9/11 leads, say virtually every road led back to the Saudi Embassy in Washington, as well as the Saudi Consulate in Los Angeles.
Yet time and time again, they were called off from pursuing leads. A common excuse was ‘diplomatic immunity.’
Those sources say the pages missing from the 9/11 congressional inquiry report – which comprise the entire final chapter dealing with ‘foreign support for the September 11 hijackers’ – details ‘incontrovertible evidence’ gathered from both CIA and FBI case files of official Saudi assistance for at least two of the Saudi hijackers who settled in San Diego.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on April 18, 2016.

Washington’s Being Blackmailed By Saudi Head-Choppers – – -Obama Heading To Riyadh To Appease Dementia-Ridden King Salman

Do we have a more unattractive ‘ally’ than the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia? In order to find one, we have to go all the way back to World War II, when the US was allied with the Soviet Union while ‘Uncle’ Joe Stalin was murdering millions in the gulag.
The big difference, however, is that the national security propaganda machine isn’t trying to glorify the head-chopping barbarians of Riyadh as they prettified the Soviets: Hollywood isn’t cranking out pro-Saudi movies as they did with the ‘workers’ paradise’ in Song of Russia. Imagine a screenwriter scratching his head over Song of the Saudis! Op ed writers employed by the Saudi lobby aren’t excusing the execution of ‘heretics’ as Popular Front propagandists once praised the Moscow Trials. Not even the Washington ‘experts’ would fall for it. Saudi lobbying is more subtle, with pressure exerted on lawmakers and lots of cash being handed out – e.g. the Saudi ‘donations’ to the Clinton Foundation.
This stealth strategy has been largely successful. Ever since Franklin Roosevelt met with King Abdul Aziz and cemented the US-Saudi relationship as the linchpin of our Middle Eastern policy, our government’s collusion with one of the worst tyrannies on earth has gone largely unexamined – until now.
The New York Times reports that the Kingdom is telling the Obama administration that they would be ‘forced’ to sell some $750 billion in US assets if Congress passes a bill that would give a green light to lawsuits alleging that the Saudis played a key role in facilitating the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The families of the 9/11 victims have been pursuing the Kingdom in the courts for years, with judges routinely dismissing financial claims by the families on the grounds of ‘sovereign immunity,’ i.e. the ‘legal’ doctrine that governments cannot be held accountable for their actions. However, a little noticed Supreme Court decision reinstated the Saudis as defendants. The bill, sponsored by Senators John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Chuck Schumer (D-New York), has broad support: if passed, it would pave the way for a close examination of the evidence that the Saudi government had a hand in 9/11.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner by Justin Raimondo ‘ April 18, 2016.

28 Blank Pages – – Washington’s Cover-Up Of The Saudi Role In The 9/11 Terrorist Attack Continues

Do Americans have the right to learn whether a foreign government helped finance the 9/11 attacks? A growing number of congressmen and senators are demanding that a 28-page portion of a 2002 congressional report finally be declassified. The Obama administration appears to be resisting, and the stakes are huge. What is contained in those pages could radically change Americans’ perspective on the war on terror.
The congressional Joint Inquiry Into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001, completed its investigation in December 2002. But the Bush administration stonewalled the release of the 838-page report until mid 2003 – after its invasion of Iraq was a fait accompli – and totally suppressed a key portion. Former U. S. Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla.) chairman of the investigation, declared that ‘there is compelling evidence in the 28 pages that one or more foreign governments was involved in assisting some of the hijackers in their preparation for 9/11.’ Graham later indicated that the Saudis were the guilty party. But disclosing Saudi links to 9/11 could have undermined efforts by some Bush administration officials to tie Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein to the 9/11 attacks.
Almost everyone has forgotten how hard the Bush administration fought to torpedo that report. In April 2003, controversy raged on Capitol Hill over the Bush administration’s continuing efforts to suppress almost all of the report by the Joint Intelligence Committee investigation. Some intelligence officials even insisted on ‘reclassifying’ as secret some of the information that had already been discussed in public hearings, such as the FBI Phoenix Memo. On May 13, Senator Graham accused the Bush administration of engaging in a ‘cover-up’ and said that the report from the congressional investigation ‘has not been released because it is, frankly, embarrassing … embarrassing as to what happened before September 11th, but maybe even more so the fact that the lessons of September 11th are not being applied today to reduce the vulnerability of the American people.’ Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) complained that intelligence agencies sought to totally censor the report: ‘The initial thing that came back was absolutely an insult, and it would be laughable if it wasn’t so insulting, because they redacted half of what we had. A lot of it was to redact a word that revealed nothing.’

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on April 10, 2016.

Imperial Washington At Work – -Always Attack The Wrong Country

There are numerous tactics available to those who aim to make problems worse while pretending to solve them, but misdirection is always a favorite. The reason to want to make problems worse is that problems are profitable – for someone. And the reason to pretend to be solving them is that causing problems, then making them worse, makes those who profit from them look bad.
In the international arena, this type of misdirection tends to take on a farcical aspect. The ones profiting from the world’s problems are the members of the US foreign policy and military establishments, the defense contractors and the politicians around the world, and especially in the EU, who have been bought off by them. Their tactic of misdirection is conditioned by a certain quirk of the American public, which is that it doesn’t concern itself too much with the rest of the world. The average member of the American public has no idea where various countries are, can’t tell Sweden from Switzerland, thinks that Iran is full of Arabs and can’t distinguish any of the countries that end in -stan. And so a handy trick has evolved, which amounts to the following dictum: ‘Always attack the wrong country.’

Need some examples? After 9/11, which, according to the official story (which is probably nonsense) was carried out by ‘suicide bombers’ (some of them, amusingly, still alive today) who were mostly from Saudi Arabia, the US chose to retaliate by attacking Saudi ArabiaAfghanistan and Iraq.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on April 1, 2016.