Foreign Occupation Leads to More Terror

Rep. Ron Paul
U.S. Presidential Candidate
September 13, 2011

Ten years ago shocking and horrific acts of terrorism were carried out on US soil, taking over 3,000 innocent American lives.  Without a doubt, this action demanded retaliation and retribution.  However, much has been done in the name of protecting the American people from terrorism that has reduced our prosperity and liberty and even made us less safe.  This is ironic and sad, considering that the oft-repeated line concerning the reasoning behind the attacks is that they hate us for who we are – a free, prosperous people – and that we must not under any circumstances allow the terrorists to win.

U.S. Presidential Candidate Ron Paul

Though it is hard for many to believe, honest studies show that the real motivation behind the September 11 attacks and the vast majority of other instances of suicide terrorism is not that our enemies are bothered by our way of life.  Neither is it our religion, or our wealth.  Rather, it is primarily occupation.  If you were to imagine for a moment how you would feel if another country forcibly occupied the United States, had military bases and armed soldiers present in our hometowns, you might begin to understand why foreign occupation upsets people so much.  Robert Pape has extensively researched this issue and goes in depth in his book “Cutting the Fuse:  The Explosion of Global Suicide Terrorism and How to Stop It”.  In fact, of 2,200 incidents of suicide attacks he has studied worldwide since 1980, 95% were in response to foreign occupation.

Pape notes that before our invasion of Iraq, only about 10% of suicide terrorism was aimed at Americans or American interests.  Since, then however, not only is suicide terrorism greatly on the rise, but 91% of it is now directed at us.

Yes, the attacks of 9/11 deserved a response.  But the manner in which we responded has allowed radicals in the Muslim world to advance a very threatening narrative about us and our motivation in occupying their lands.  Osama bin Laden referred to us as “crusaders” with a religious agenda to convert Muslims, westernize their culture and take control of their resources.  If we had targeted our response to only the thugs and criminals who attacked us, and refrained from invading countries that had nothing to do with it, this characterization would seem less plausible to the desperate and displaced.  Blaming Islam alone is grossly misleading.

Instead, we chose a course of action that led to the further loss of 8,000 American lives, left 40,000 wounded and has hundreds of thousands seeking help at the Veterans Administration.  We are three to four trillion dollars poorer.  Our military is spread dangerously thin around the globe, at the expense of protection here at home.  Not only that, but we have allowed our freedoms to be greatly threatened and undermined from within.  The Patriot Act, warrantless searches and wiretapping, abuse of habeus corpus, useless and humiliating searches at airports are just a few examples of how we’ve allowed the terrorists to “win” by making our country less free.

Suicide terrorism did not exist in Iraq before we got there.  Now it does.  There are no known instances of Iranians committing suicide terrorism.  If we invade and occupy Iran, expect that to change, too.

Sometimes it can be very uncomfortable to ask the right questions and face the truth.  When a slick politician comes along and gives a much more soothing, self-congratulating version of events, it is very tempting to simply believe what we would like to hear.  But listening to lies does not make us safer, even though it might make us feel better about ourselves.

The truth is that ending these misguided wars and occupations will make us safer, more prosperous and more free.

9/11 Responders Screened as Terrorists

by Mike Mculiff
HoffPost.com

WASHINGTON — A provision in the new 9/11 health bill may be adding insult to injury for people who fell sick after their service in the aftermath of the 2001 Al Qaeda attacks, The Huffington Post has learned.

The tens of thousands of cops, firefighters, construction workers and others who survived the worst terrorist assault in U.S. history and risked their lives in its wake will soon be informed that their names must be run through the FBI’s terrorism watch list, according to a letter obtained by HuffPost.

Any of the responders who are not compared to the database of suspected terrorists would be barred from getting treatment for the numerous, worsening ailments that the James Zadroga 9/11 Health And Compensation Law was passed to address.

It’s a requirement that was tacked onto the law during the bitter debates over it last year.

The letter from Dr. John Howard, director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, informs medical providers and administrators that they should begin letting patients know before the new program kicks in this July.

“This is absurd,” said Glen Kline, a former NYPD emergency services officer. “It’s silly. It’s stupid. It’s asinine.”

“It’s comical at best, and I think it’s an insult to everyone who worked on The Pile and is sick and suffering from 9/11,” said John Feal, a former construction worker who lost half a foot at Ground Zero and runs the advocacy group Fealgood Foundation.

The provision was added in an amendment by Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) during the heated debate over the bill in the House Energy and Commerce Committee last May.

Sept. 11 responders in the committee room at the time mostly shook their heads at the move, which Democrats accepted on a voice vote after battling to bar other amendments on abortion and immigration that might have killed the bill.

But suddenly the point is no longer just a strategic concession to get a law passed.

As doctors and administrators begin acting on the federal instructions, participants in the 9/11 treatment and monitoring programs will soon be told that their names, places of birth, addresses, government ID numbers and other personal data will be provided to the FBI to ensure they are not terrorists.

Howard’s instructions include a sample letter to responders designed to minimize alarm.

“Although neither we nor [the Centers for Disease Control]/NIOSH anticipate the name of any individual in the current Programs will be on the list, CDC/NIOSH is expressly required by law to implement this particular requirement of the Act,” it says.

“Thank you for your understanding. We look forward to working with you and ensuring that you continue to receive uninterrupted services under the new WTC Health Program,” it concludes.

Feal, who counts hundreds of first responders in his foundation’s membership, predicted the letters would not go over well.

“When cops and firefighters get this at home, they’re going to hit the roof,” he said.

Kline, who sits on the Fealgood Foundation’s board, said he personally wasn’t offended, but couldn’t think of a good reason for cops and firefighters to be screened by the FBI in order to keep getting treatment.

“I mean, who are we even talking about — the undocumented workers who cleaned the office buildings?” wondered Kline Thursday. “We know who all the cops, firefighters and construction workers were. They’re all documented.

“Is the idea that a terrorist stayed to help clean up? And then stayed all these years to try and get benefits?” he asked. “In all the things I’ve seen out of Washington, this probably takes the cake.”

Some are more understanding.

“Do we want terrorists getting money? No,” said Anthony Flammia, a former NYPD Highway Patrol officer and Sept. 11 responder. “How do you know if there were any terrorists there? Were they there as observers, watching? Probably.”

But he noted that his perspective likely would not be shared, especially if people whose names are similar to actual terror suspects get flagged, as happens with air travelers.

“I’ve got nothing to hide, so it’s no big deal for me, but there’s got to be safeguards in place to protect the people who are innocent,” Flammia said. “It’s going to be controversial,” he added. “It’s probably going to create an uproar, but I think it will dissipate. I hope they’re ready to answer people’s questions.”

Congressman Stearns said in a statement that his intent was to answer exactly the questions raised by Flammia.

“This amendment was adopted in the full Energy and Commerce Committee without opposition and it merely requires that the names of those receiving health benefits be cross-checked with the terrorist watch list to ensure that no terrorists get these benefits,” Stearns said.

“These benefits are not just for our first responders; nearly anyone who was in the vicinity or worked on a cleanup crew afterward is eligible,” he noted.

The prohibition is included in two parts of the bill. One specifically covers responders, while the other deals with all survivors, including office workers, bystanders and residents.

Feal acknowledged that the terrorist screening has to be done because it is the law, and that the letters have to go out.

But he holds Stearns responsible, as well as several other Republicans who were hostile to the 9/11 bill, and tried to tack all manner of amendments onto it.

“I think Congressman Stearns is stabbing at pettiness. He’s a buffoon,” Feal said. “We get sicker and die, and they’re going to disseminate a letter wondering whether we’re terrorists or not. … I think everybody needs to start showing a little more compassion.”

Intelligence Agency Rejects Osama Murder in Pakistan

Stratfor disputes OBL killing in Abbottabad

The Nation
August 22, 2011

Globally recognised intelligence and forecast STRATFOR has rejected the US Central Intelligence Agency claim that the man killed in Abbottabad’s compound by US Naval SEALs was al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden. This was one of the reasons the CIA kept Pakistan’s premier intelligence agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in dark.

The STRATFOR says: “The possibility that bin Laden was already dead and in terms of his impact on terrorist operations, he effectively was. That does not mean, however, that he was not an important ideological leader or that he was not someone the United States sought to capture or kill for his role in carrying out the most devastating terrorist attack in the US history.”

In its latest intelligence gathering, the STRATFOR claims that aggressive US intelligence collection efforts have come to fruition, as killing of Osama bin Laden was perhaps the top symbolic goal for the CIA and all those involved in the US covert operations. Indeed, President Obama said during his speech on May 1 that upon entering the office, he had personally instructed CIA Director Leon Panetta that killing the al-Qaeda leader was his top priority. The logistical challenges of catching a single wanted individual with Bin Laden level of resources were substantial and while 10 years, the United States was able to accomplish the objective it set out to do in October 2001.

Because of bin Laden’s communications limitations, since October 2001 when he fled Tora Bora after the US invasion of Afghanistan, he has been relegated to a largely symbolic and ideological role in al-Qaeda. Accordingly, he issued audiotapes on a little more than a yearly basis, whereas before 2007 he was able to issue videotapes.
The growing infrequency and decreasing quality of his recorded messages was the most notable when al-Qaeda did not release a message marking the anniversary of 9/11 in September 2010 but later followed up with a tape on January 21, 2011.

Read Full Article…

Iran accused of September 11 role

Benjamin Weiser, Scott Shane
Sidney Morning Herald
May 21, 2011

Two defectors from Iran’s intelligence service have testified that Iranian officials knew in advance about the attacks of September 11, 2001, says a US court filing that seeks damages for Iran’s ”direct support for, and sponsorship of, the most deadly act of terrorism in American history”.

One of the defectors also claimed that Iran was involved in designing the attacks, the filing said. The defectors’ identities and testimony were not revealed in the filing but were being submitted to a judge under seal, said lawyers who brought the original suit against Iran on behalf of families of dozens of September 11 victims.

The suit says Iran and Hezbollah, the Lebanese militant group with close ties to Tehran, helped al-Qaeda with planning the attacks and with the hijackers’ training and travel. After the attacks, the suit says, Iran and Hezbollah helped al-Qaeda operatives and their families to escape, in some cases providing them with a safe haven in Iran.

The question of an Iranian connection to the attacks was raised by the national September 11 commission and has long been debated. Al-Qaeda, which adheres to a radical Sunni theology, routinely denounces the Shiite branch of Islam that holds power in Iran, and the terrorist network’s branch in Iraq has often made Shiites targets of bombings. But intelligence officials have long believed there has been limited, wary co-operation between al-Qaeda and Iran against the US as a common enemy.

The lawsuit also names as defendants Iranian officials and ministries, as well as Hezbollah, al-Qaeda and the Taliban, among others. The families’ lawyers have asked for a default judgment against the defendants, which have not responded to the suit. Even if there were such a judgment, legal experts say it would not be easy to collect monetary damages.

In their court papers, the lawyers assert that Imad Mugniyah, as the military chief of Hezbollah, was a terrorist agent for Iran, and that he travelled to Saudi Arabia in 2000 to help with preparations for the September 11 attacks.

Mugniyah, killed in 2008, had been accused by US officials of planning a series of terrorist attacks and kidnappings, including the bombings of the US embassy and marine barracks in Lebanon in 1983.

The September 11 commission report said there was ”strong evidence Iran facilitated the transit of al-Qaeda members into and out of Afghanistan before [the attacks], and that some of these were future [September 11] hijackers”.

But the commission said it had ”found no evidence that Iran or Hezbollah was aware of the planning for what later became” the September 11 attacks and that the ”topic requires further investigation by the US government”.

Terror Trials in Guantanamo Bay to Hide 9/11 Details

By Luis R. Miranda
The Real Agenda
April 4, 2011

The sham performed by United States Attorney General Eric Holder -blaming Congress for not allowing a public trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other 4 alleged 9/11 plotters- is just part of the American government’s PR campaign to keep important information hidden. This information would otherwise be made public in a traditional Court of Law.

Holder spoke about his frustration with Congress and the fact he ‘was not allowed’ to have an open and public trial of the supposed 9/11 mastermind and four other accomplices.  The American AG wanted to conduct the trial in New York City, but Congress conveniently refused.

Holder said he was left with no choice but to try the suspects in a military court instead of a civil one.  Such court would be set up inside the Guantanamo Bay Prison in Cuba. The torture central of the United States is a perfect place to carry out the trial, because neither the press nor the public have access to uncensored details. Although Guantanamo Bay provides a marvelous curtain of secrecy, a resource as valuable to any American administration as crude oil, the American government needs to put a sad face to Congress’ decision instead of a celebratory one.

The claims made by Holder that Congress’ decision is “unwise and unwarranted” coupled with the fact he believes he “knows better” is a nice smoke curtain to cheat distracted audiences. This is more so if one remembers that it was the very same American government that initially opposed a formal investigation of the attacks perpetrated on 9/11, and that it was only after a fair amount of public outcry that the Bush administration concocted a doomed to fail commission composed of gate keepers who omitted some of the most important details known today.

“Do I know better than them? Yes. I respect their ability to disagree but they should respect that this is an executive branch function, a unique executive branch function,” the Attorney General said during a press conference. After condemning Congress’ decision, Holder assured the press that he had plenty of confidence in one of George Bush’s children -the military commissions scheme- to bring this process to a good end. “Prosecutors from both the Departments of Defense and Justice have been working together since the beginning of this matter, and I have full faith and confidence in the military commission system to appropriately handle this case as it proceeds,” Holder said.

All Walid Muhammed Salih Mubarak Bin Attash, Ramzi Bin Al Shibh, Ali Abdul-Aziz Ali and Mustafa Ahmed Al Hawsawi along with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed are accused of plotting and executing the 9/11 attacks which ended with the murder of 2,976 people.  All of the victims’ names are included in the official public indictment dismissed and unsealed Monday by a federal judge.  See indictment here.

The United States Congress prevent the federal trials of the alleged 9/11 mastermind and his shills by adding this decision to a a defense authorization bill which prohibits terror detainees from being tried in the United States.

ACLU’s Anthony D. Romero, who opposes the use of military commissions showed his discontent about the government’s unexpected decision. “There is a reason this system is condemned: it is rife with constitutional and procedural problems and undermines the fundamental American values that have made us a model throughout the world for centuries.”