Archive for the 'War on Terror' Category

‘Kafka Comes to America’

By Marie Cocco | TruthDig | Posted on Jul 16, 2008

It is sadly amusing, that small part of Steven Wax’s book that brings us back to the bizarre color-coded system of homeland security alerts; the breathlessness with which the media would announce each day’s threat level and the way the Bush administration enlisted local police—untrained and almost certainly unaware of what they were supposed to do if they stumbled over a terrorist—in the early years of the so-called war on terror.

Wax, the federal public defender for the district of Oregon, recalls driving over a Willamette River bridge with his young son, who wondered what police cruisers were doing on each end of the span. The boy asked questions an innocent would ask: “Was there a real danger? If so, why were we driving over the bridge?”

I chuckled out loud at that paragraph in Wax’s “Kafka Comes to America,” but that is its only humor.

The book provides an insider’s view of some of the most hideous practices our country has allowed since the 9/11 attacks. And that’s without giving accounts of torture and abuse of detainees. Rather, it recounts an abuse of power and the twisting of American legal norms until they have been distorted beyond recognition—a disregard for the law that has swept up American citizens and foreigners alike.

Wax and his colleagues were lawyers for Brandon Mayfield, the Oregon man who was erroneously jailed for alleged complicity in the 2004 Madrid train bombings. He was picked up as a “material witness” by the Justice Department, which based its suspicion of him—and countless media leaks that portrayed Mayfield, an American citizen who is Muslim, as a possible international terrorist—on what turned out to have been a faulty reading of a fingerprint by the FBI.

When Wax first was retained to defend Mayfield, he did not immediately know that the FBI and Spanish investigators had differed from the start on the fingerprint identification, the sole piece of “evidence” the U.S. government came up with before it swooped down on Mayfield and his family, searching his home through “sneak and peek” tactics authorized under the Patriot Act; leaving his wife and children with the terrifying thought that Mayfield might disappear or be charged with a crime that carried the death penalty.

At the time, the White House was claiming it had the power to detain American citizens without charge or trial, and to incarcerate them in military brigs. Having read Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s “The Gulag Archipelago” and taken a law school course that described the Soviet legal system, Wax shuddered. “Now I was sitting in the county jail in Portland, Oregon, actually telling a client that he might disappear and we were even planning for the possibility,” he writes.

In the end, the fingerprint identification was determined to be wrong, Mayfield was released and won a $2-million settlement from the government because of its misconduct. Still, Wax says, the secret search of Mayfield’s home could be conducted under the latest version of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which allows such searches without probable cause, without evidence that the targeted individual has committed a crime. “Nothing’s changed,” Wax told me in an interview.

Wax continues to be part of the legal team that works to get hearings for the Guantanamo detainees who have never had a day in court. The book flips back and forth between Wax’s efforts to get to the bottom of the Mayfield detention and his bid to free Adel Hamad, a Sudanese hospital administrator who was picked up by Pakistani security forces in his Peshawar apartment and shipped to Guantanamo.

Though Hamad was returned to Sudan—after five years, four months and 25 days in captivity—under a deal with the Sudanese government, Wax is still battling to get this client a hearing in federal court. The reason? He’s never been able to present the evidence he’s developed that Hamad’s detention was a gross error; that he had nothing whatever to do with terrorist activity. The U.S. government, meanwhile, will “neither confirm nor deny that they ever talked to the Sudanese and reached an agreement” to free Hamad, Wax says.

This would be laughable if it weren’t so frightening. The country has moved on to other worries as memories of 9/11 have faded. Yet the decisions made in the aftermath of that attack haunt us today, and they will be recorded as a blight on our history.

Marie Cocco’s e-mail address is mariecocco(at)washpost.com.

© 2008, Washington Post Writers Group

If We Don’t Learn Our History, We’re Doomed to Repeat It

George Washington’s Blog | Thursday, April 10, 2008

Everyone has heard the saying “if we don’t learn our history, we’re doomed to repeat it”.

Let’s see if history can teach us anything about 9/11:

  • It is widely accepted that the Nazis, in Operation Himmler, faked attacks on their own people and resources which they blamed on the Poles, to justify the invasion of Poland
  • It has now been persuasively argued — as shown, for example, in this History Channel video — that Nazis set fire to their own government building and blamed that fire on others (if you have trouble playing the clip, it is because the website hosting the clip requires you to download the clip before playing it). The fire was the event which justified Hitler’s seizure of power and suspension of liberties
  • Recently declassified documents show that in the 1960’s, the American Joint Chiefs of Staff signed off on a plan to blow up AMERICAN airplanes (using an elaborate plan involving the switching of airplanes), and also to commit terrorist acts on American soil, and then to blame it on the Cubans in order to justify an invasion of Cuba. If you view no other links in this article, please read the following ABC news report; the official documents; and watch this interview with the former Washington Investigative Producer for ABC’s World News Tonight with Peter Jennings

  • Famous leaders have stated again and again that false flag terror is the name of the game:

 

  • U.S. President James Madison said: “If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.”

 

  • Adolph Hitler said: “Terrorism is the best political weapon for nothing drives people harder than a fear of sudden death”.
  • Nazi leader Hermann Goering said:

    “Why of course the people don’t want war … But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship … Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country”.

  • Josef Stalin said:

    “The easiest way to gain control of a population is to carry out acts of terror. [The public] will clamor for such laws if their personal security is threatened”

Given the above-described history of false flag terror, it is beyond dispute that we must carefully scrutinize what really happened on 9/11, and that we cannot take the government’s word for it.

Milton Viorst on Israel’s Tragic Predicament

By Milton Viorst | TruthDig | Posted on Feb 1, 2008

Artillery

Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? Fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? 

—Shakespeare, “The Merchant of Venice,” Act III.

In opening his stunning memoir, “Dark Hope: Working for Peace in Israel and Palestine,” David Shulman declares: “I am an Israeli. I live in Jerusalem. I have a story, not yet finished, to tell.” It is a very sad story, of a society gone astray with power, and of decent Israelis in despair over the failure of their efforts to save it from itself. The story, as Shulman says, is not yet over, but he asks whether its end is not already determined. Is tragedy inevitable?  Can Israel right its course to achieve its once glowing promise as a refuge and as a nation?

Shulman’s memoir is not unique in raising these questions. Two recent books share his foreboding: “Lords of the Land: The War Over Israel’s Settlements in the Occupied Territories, 1967-2007,” a careful work of scholarship by Idith Zertal and Akiva Eldar, and “Toward an Open Tomb: The Crisis of Israeli Society,” a stinging essay by Michel Warschawski. Shulman and Zertal are college professors, Eldar is a journalist, Warschawski is a peace activist. All are Israeli Jews. Whatever the stylistic differences of their books, they are equally unforgiving of Israel for placing its future in stark jeopardy. 

None of these authors, it should be emphasized, is an apologist for Arabs. They do not deny that two peoples of vastly different cultures are engaged in a conflict of nationalisms, in which both sides have killed intemperately. All agree it is a conflict with too many victims, in both cultures. But these writers, good Israelis, are convinced Israel cannot resolve it by military superiority, much less by physical abuse. Continue reading ‘Milton Viorst on Israel’s Tragic Predicament’

America’s day of reckoning is at hand

Paul Craig Roberts | | Tuesday November 27, 2007

Pat Buchanan is too patriotic to come right out and say it, but the message of his new book, Day of Reckoning, is that America as we have known her is finished. Moreover, Naomi Wolf agrees with him. These two writers of different political persuasions arrive at America’s demise from different directions.

Buchanan explains how hubris, ideology, and greed have torn America apart. A neoconservative cabal with an alien agenda captured the Bush administration and committed American blood, energy, and money to aggression against Muslim countries in the Middle East, while permitting America’s domestic borders to be overrun by immigrants and exporting the jobs that had made the US an opportunity society. War and offshoring have taken a savage economic toll while open borders and diversity have created social and political division.

In her new book, End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot, Wolf explains America’s demise in terms of the erosion of freedoms. She writes that the 10 classic steps that are used to close open societies are currently being taken in the US. Martial law is only a declaration away.

The Bush administration responded to September 11 by initiating military aggression in the Middle East and by using fear and the “war on terror” to implement police state measures at home with legislation, presidential directives, and executive orders.

Overnight the US became a tyranny in which people could be arrested and incarcerated on the basis of unsubstantiated accusation. Both US citizens and non-citizens were denied habeas corpus, due process, and access to attorneys and courts. Congress gave Bush legislation establishing military tribunals, the procedures of which permit people to be condemned to death on the basis of secret evidence, hearsay, and confessions extracted by torture. Nothing of the like has ever been seen before in the US. Continue reading ‘America’s day of reckoning is at hand’


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 120 other followers

Adams in Patriotic Mode

“What do we mean by the American Revolution? Do we mean the American war? The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments, of their duties and obligations…This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people was the real American Revolution.” John Adams

The Declaration of Independence

The Union Oyster House

Frech Ocean-fresh New England seafood delivered directly to your door

Benjamin Franklin: A Documentary History – J. A. Leo Lemay

B & M Baked Beans

Blog Stats

  • 641,661 hits

Pages


My blog is worth $3,387.24.
How much is your blog worth?

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 120 other followers