Posts Tagged ‘national security’

John Glaser, July 31, 2013

Here’s a riddle: How do you make it easier to push through legislation in Congress that is overwhelmingly opposed in the public without any political consequences?

SecrecyAnswer: Keep the votes secret.

That’s exactly what’s happened to an Obama administration plan to provide weapons directly to the Syrian rebels. The Senate committee that approved the plan was, unusually, allowed to classify their votes, presumably in order to insulate themselves from any repercussions from their constituents. Because really…why should elected representatives have to tell the people they supposedly represent how they are doing the job they were elected to do!?

McClatchy:

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence reportedly gave its approval last week to an Obama administration plan to provide weapons to moderate rebels in Syria, but how individual members of the committee stood on the subject remains unknown.

There was no public debate and no public vote when one of the most contentious topics in American foreign policy was decided – outside of the view of constituents, who oppose the president’s plan to aid the rebels by 54 percent to 37 percent, according to a Gallup Poll last month.

In fact, ask individual members of the committee, who represent 117 million people in 14 states, how they stood on the plan to use the CIA to funnel weapons to the rebels and they are likely to respond with the current equivalent of “none of your business:” It’s classified.

Those were, in fact, the words Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., chair of the committee, used when asked a few days before the approval was granted to clarify her position for her constituents. She declined. It’s a difficult situation, she said. And, “It’s classified.”

She was not alone. In a string of interviews over days, members of both the Senate intelligence committee or its equivalent in the House were difficult to pin down on their view of providing arms to the rebels. The senators and representatives said they couldn’t give an opinion, or at least a detailed one, because the matter was classified.

It’s an increasingly common stance that advocates of open government say undermines the very principle of a representative democracy.

“It’s like a pandemic in Washington, D.C., this idea that ‘I don’t have to say anything, I don’t have to justify anything, because I can say it’s secret,’” said Jim Harper, director of information policy studies at the Cato Institute, a Washington-based libertarian think tank.

In our increasingly Orwellian country, it’s getting hard to tell the difference between parody and reality. But this is very real. And Harper is correct: it is a pandemic.

Everything is secret in Washington. Who are we at war with? That’s classified. Who is the government spying on? That’s classified. Are we bombing multiple countries on a regular basis with remote-controlled airplanes? That’s classified. Which senators voted for an incredibly unpopular and dangerous plan to give weapons to unaccountable Syrian militias as they fight in a chaotic civil war that should have nothing to do with us? None of your god damned business.

The US government in 2012 rejected public requests for documents more often than at any time since President Barack Obama took office, according to an analysis by The Associated Press.

“The administration cited exceptions built into the law to avoid turning over materials more than 479,000 times, a roughly 22 percent increase over the previous year,” The Associated Press reports.

“The government cited national security to withhold information at least 5,223 times – a jump over 4,243 such cases in 2011 and 3,805 cases in Obama’s first year in office. The secretive CIA last year became even more secretive: Nearly 60 percent of 3,586 requests for files were withheld or censored for that reason last year, compared with 49 percent a year earlier.”

According to Information Security Oversight Office, the Executive Branch alone made 92,064,862 classifications decisions in 2011. In the same year, it cost the federal government $11 billion just to keep its own secrets.

The trend towards reckless classification in government will prove to be one of the most pernicious in the very near future. The one opportunity for Americans, in our ostensibly three branched government, to challenge the absurd levels of secrecy are the courts. Unfortunately, they have given the state incredible deference when it comes to state secrets privileges.

Advertisements

January 4, 2011 No Lies Radio

Barrett
I understand that you had some 9/11 foreknowledge, but were actually busted for trying to explain to the Bush Administration through your cousin Andrew Card, that invading Iraq was insane, that the Iraqis were basically going to do anything we wanted anyway–they’ll agree to anything for peace–and that there would be a terrible resistance and a terrible war if there was an invasion. And for that very accurate and prescient warning, they went after you.

Lindauer
Well, you have a very good grasp of this issue, I will tell you. It is a complicated story. I was one of the very few (CIA) assets covering Iraq before the war. And I had established contact with the Iraqi embassy at the United Nations in New York back in August of 1996. And for seven years before the invasion, I was what they call a “back channel” to Iraq on the question of terrorism. That was my foremost priority. This was covert in the sense that it was covert to the West. But the Iraqis were fully informed as to who I was and what I was doing and what my purpose was. My motivation was that I hated the United Nations sanctions. I hated the genocidal consequences and suffering for the Iraqi people, most truly and genuinely–that was very sincere. And they knew it. And both sides knew my politics. In fact, the CIA had come to me knowing my politics and said “hey, why don’t you try to help us.” They co-opted me–they did–but I agreed to be co-opted. We all understood each other. And that’s very important for what happened.

Barrett
That’s not necessarily a bad thing. There is a role for people who are intermediaries between warring parties and who try to make peace. And it sounds like that’s what you were doing.

Lindauer
Yes indeed. And both sides understood my politics, that I wanted to help end the sanctions. And the CIA was very adamant that Iraq had to meet certain criteria in order for that to happen. And my contribution from the very first days was on terrorism. Our team started what we called preliminary talks with Baghdad in November of 2000, two years before the United Nations got involved. Our team started back channel talks to get Iraq’s agreement on the weapons inspections. And over the next fifteen months, my supervisor, Richard Fuisz (pronounced “fuse”), through talks at the Iraqi embassy, mostly with Iraq’s ambassador Dr. Sayeed Hassan, and with other senior Iraqi diplomats, on what conditions Iraq would have to accept in order to resume the weapons inspections. And at that point we had begun to develop a comprehensive peace framework which extended great support to anti-terrorism. Iraq agreed to let the FBI come into Baghdad and operate a task force that would have authority–this was before 9/11 ever happened! Nine months before 9/11 happened, Iraq agreed to have the FBI come into Baghdad with the authority to conduct terrorism investigations, interview witnesses, make arrests. After 9/11, Iraq agreed to give financial records on al-Qaeda to the United States. BUT the United states didn’t want to take the records.

Barrett

It makes you wonder why not.

Lindauer
Isn’t that an interesting question.

Barrett
It leads me to (my next question): You apparently had some kind of foreknowledge of 9/11. Can you explain to us what that was?

Lindauer
Yes. This is a very interesting thing, and I’m glad…I hope your audience will pay attention to this. We absolutely expected 9/11 to happen. And there’s a subtlety here that I hope your audience will appreciate. In April and May of 2001 I was summoned to my CIA handler’s office and told that I needed to confront the Iraqi diplomats at the United Nations, through my back channel, with a demand for any fragment of intelligence regarding airplane hijackings and/or airplane bombings. And over the summer, that progressed to a deep belief that there was going to be an airplane hijacking attack, and some sort of aerial strike, on the World Trade Center. We talked about this in our one-on-one meetings practically every week. Just so we are clear, this was not a one-time conversation. This was a major focus of our efforts. Richard (Fuisz, Lindauer’s CIA handler) was very worried about it, very agitated about it, how Iraq must give us this intelligence. Now, I don’t mean to patronize you, but I’m sure you’re familiar with the concept of deniability. I do not think that Richard Fuisz knew all the details of 9/11. However, he knew enough. My book Extreme Prejudice goes into the conversations that we had in great detail. And he knew the timing of the attack. By August 2001, Richard was telling me not to go into New York City because this attack was immanent. And on the day of FBI Director Robert Mueller’s confirmation hearings, which I think was August 2nd–in my book it’s very clear, I’ve checked all the dates–Richard Fuisz told me that the attack was immanent. And I said, well, I’m going up to New York to ask my Iraqi sources about this again. And he said “Don’t go to New York, it’s too dangerous, I don’t want you going there again.” And I said “I’m just going up this weekend, and I promise I will not go back to New York.” And that’s how close this was. They knew a great deal. And what was interesting is that after 9/11, I get arrested, and he gets thirteen million dollars in payoffs. (laughs)

Barrett
(laughing) Oh boy. That’s amazing. They arrested you, because they were probably concerned about you revealing the contents of your conversations with Richard, among other things.

Lindauer
Oh yes, absolutely. And the fact that there was a peace option on the table that had been developed over a two year period before the war, a comprehensive peace framework. It included cooperation on anti-terrorism; it included the weapons inspections, of course–you already knew that; and it included Iraq’s commitment to donate economic reconstruction–donate is not the right word–to dedicate economic reconstruction contracts to United States corporations with preferential treatment, preferential contracts in telecommunications, health care, pharmaceuticals, and transportation. This was a comprehensive peace framework! We covered everything! We covered a lot. And nobody even knows about this!

Barrett
That’s amazing. There have been general reports of this nature, including post-9/11, right up to the eve of the invasion, there have been reports that Saddam Hussein was willing to give the US basically everything it wanted to hold off the invasion.

Lindauer
Yes. Yes.

Barrett

That leads to the question: Why do you think, given that you recognize just how insane this invasion was, how completely unnecessary–the Iraqis were caving as far as they had to cave anyway–what was the point?

Lindauer
Yes, literally, Iraq said to me: “What is it the United States wants? Anything that the United States asks for, we will give them. Just tell us what it is!” When I was on a trip to Baghdad, they offered to buy one million American-made automobiles every year for ten years. And (an Iraqi diplomat) said to me, “Look, Susan, if ten years isn’t enough, we’ll make it twenty years.”

Barrett
You know, Susan, you’re kind of ruining Saddam Hussein’s posthumous reputation as somebody who stood up to the U.S.!

Lindauer
He was more harsh on terrorists than we were.

Barrett
He didn’t get along with al-Qaeda, and he didn’t get along with Islamists of any kind, including the Iranians.

Lindauer

That’s right.

Barrett
You would have thought that the U.S. would have just kept running him as an American puppet. He got his start as a CIA hit man, apparently.

Lindauer

Yes indeed.

Barrett
So why, why this insane insistence on going to war with Iraq–a war that has killed one and a half million innocent Iraqis and destroyed that country. What was the purpose of it?

Lindauer
It was so incredibly stupid. And 9/11…9/11 could have been used at the start…9/11 was a tragedy, a terrible, terrible tragedy, but 9/11 could have accomplished great good. Because right after 9/11 Iraq went into high mode of giving. They were offering us everything we wanted: Financial records on al-Qaeda, proof of a Middle Eastern link to what we used to call the inter-Arab group of terrorists, which was actually an amalgamation of several different terrorist factions, coalesced into al-Qaeda. They were willing to prove that there was a Middle Eastern link to the Oklahoma City bombing and the first attack on the World Trade Center, and those included financial documents, bank records…we could have tracked the money that’s financing terrorism around the world. Instead what we do is, we create an enemy. Because it looks better–the politicians could go grandstand. As a former (CIA) asset I can assure you, they don’t actually do anything on terrorism. They give speeches. They go wave their hands in the parades. But they don’t do anything to contribute to anti-terrorism efforts. But the people have been fooled by their showmanship and their grandstanding and their spectacle. It’s like a circus performance now! In fact, before 9/11, there were 200 to 300 terrorists in the world who wanted to attack America. Now, after 9/11 and after the war in Iraq and after the war on Afghanistan, there are only about 2000 to 3000 individuals whose entire focus of life is revenge and coming into the United States and attacking us. That’s only 3000 people. The way I look at it, this is like a high school auditorium that you could fill with the potential terrorists. That’s it! This is an invention! We’ve made this up!

Barrett

Right. Very well put. I’ve often explained to people that there was no real terrorist threat pre-9/11, and that for every one person pre-9/11 who was bent on doing harm to the US, there must be a great many today, because of all the terrible things that have gone on since 9/11.

Lindauer
Yes.

Barrett
So the question then, is…is it just sheer total incompetence and stupidity and grandstanding and egotism–I’m sure all of that contributes to it, but—uh…well, frankly, Susan, my take on all of this is that 9/11 was a Mossad operation, that it was of course done through Cheney’s office. There were no hijackings. The guys that they blamed for it were not terrorists at all. They weren’t even on the planes. There is not a shred of evidence that any of these guys were on those planes, nor is there a shred of actual evidence that there were any hijackings. Instead, we had a military operation that was essentially a Zionist coup d’état by the Likkud faction that wanted to destroy Iraq so it would never be a threat to Israel. A prosperous Iraq, allied to the US, would actually be terrible for Israel. That’s why they wouldn’t take the deals that you were brokering. Care to comment?

Lindauer
I think that you are–I do believe in the hijackings, but I believe in everything else that you have just said. One of the things that came out right after 9/11: I’ve often been asked by people what my CIA handler Richard Fuisz’s source was for the 9/11 attack. And he told me briefly, he let it slip. Immediately after the attack, when we were all in a state of shock, he said to me…the first building had collapsed, but it was before the second building collapsed. This is a very important time frame. He made reference to video tape, which by the way was not released to the public until the next day, but right after 9/11 Richard Fuisz already knows about this video tape! Right after the attack–the first building has collapsed, the second one is still standing–and we’re both talking in the living room, we’re both shouting–I’m in my living room, he’s in his living room, and we’re shouting at the televisions–and he blurts out to me: “Susan, how many times do you think a camera is cued up waiting for a car accident to occur?” He said, “What do you think are the odds  that those two people were just standing on the sidewalk with a video camera waiting patiently for the plane to hit the building?” And he said, “Those are Mossad agents. They knew that the World Trade Center was about to get hit, and they were waiting there for it to happen so they could record it and put it out in the media.” Now this is before it has even come out in the media. He identifies them as Mossad agents, and I believe–I’m convinced–that that was the source of our knowledge of al-Qaeda. But what you guys don’t know, which I will throw out to you, which comes out in my book, is that from April and May of 2001 onwards, Richard Fuisz instructed me to threaten the Iraqis with war. Now everybody assumes that the war stuff came after 9/11. But it didn’t. They had decided months before 9/11 ever happened that as soon as this attack occurred, this would be the motivation for the war. So they absolutely knew that this attack was coming. They knew that it was going to be in late August or September. And that opens up a whole new dynamic proving what you have just said: That it was a Mossad conspiracy, that there was complicity…maybe that’s a better word, complicity…I’m going to go a little softer on the language than you. Mossad complicity.

Barrett

I would argue that it’s a little more than complicity–that the demolitions of the three tallest buildings ever taken down in controlled demolitions required immense skill and military specialization and so on…

Lindauer

Oh yes, when I say complicity, I include that in it. Yes. I believe in the detonations. In fact…do I have time to tell you one story before break?

Barrett
Tell it, go for it.

Lindauer

While I was writing my book, I had a high-ranking State Department official, who has a very very high, top-top-top security classification, and I cannot name him for you because I don’t want to hurt his reputation. He’s close to retirement, he’s going to have a pension–they would crush him if he was ever exposed, I suspect.  He thinks it too. He says that a couple of weeks before 9/11, at the end of August, for about two weeks, strange vans were arriving at the World Trade Center at three o’ clock in the morning. They were staying from about three o’ clock to about four-thirty or five. They were coming in for a brief period. And he swore to me that he personally had investigated the janitorial services, and he said “I know first hand how many employees the janitorial service had, what their trucks looked like, what their revenues were like, where they lived.” He said “we know the addresses.” We are confident that none of the people from the janitorial services were tied to these trucks. It had never happened before, it was a unique thing. This was not a constant thing like over a six month period. It was a strange anomaly right before (the attack on) the World Trade Center. And he was convinced that this was government-level thermite, government-level weapons, that had been put into either the stairwells or the elevator shafts. And he is convinced that this is when it happened.

ExtremePrejudice

The Terrifying Story of the Patriot Act and the Cover Ups of 9/11 and Iraq

WHO CAN AMERICANS TRUST?

What if the government decided to invent a great lie to sell a disastrous war and a questionable anti-terrorism policy? What would happen to the Assets who know the truth?

In the new second edition, former CIA Asset, Susan Lindauer, provides an extraordinary first-hand account from behind the intelligence curtain that shatters the government’s lies about 9/11 and Iraq, and casts a harsh spotlight on the workings of the Patriot Act as the ideal weapon to bludgeon whistle blowers and dissidents. A terrifying true story of “black budget” betrayals and the Patriot Act, with its arsenal of secret evidence, indefinite detention and threats of forcible drugging, EXTREME PREJUDICE reveals one Asset’s desperate struggle to survive the brutal cover ups of 9/11 and Iraq.

EXTREME PREJUDICE delivers a high tension expose of the real facts surrounding the CIA’s advance warnings of 9/11 and Iraq’s contributions to the 9/11 investigation. For the first time, it reveals the existence of a comprehensive peace framework, which would have accomplished all major U.S. objectives in Baghdad without a single casualty. A true life spy thriller that goes inside the Iraqi Embassy and prison on a Texas military base, EXTREME PREJUDICE reveals the depths of deception by leaders in Washington and London to promote a questionable image of their successful anti-terrorism policy, and the shocking brutality used to suppress the truth of their failures from the American people and the world community.

Above all, EXTREME PREJUDICE  offers a critical examination  of the Patriot Act’s assault on defendant rights in the Courts, when liberty and freedom to dissent from government policy are the highest stakes.  EXTREME PREJUDICE is a personal narrative accessible to all audiences, not an academic book.

“Susan Lindauer deserves unreserved admiration for this brave and moving account of her steadfast refusal to crumble under the shameful abuses to which she was subjected. She has provided us with an overdue exposure of the depths to which governments are all too prepared to descend to prevent disclosure of their dishonesty and malfeasance, her knowledge having been gained through bitter personal experience.” –Robert Black, Q.C., Scottish architect of the Lockerbie Trial at CampZeist

“Unfolds like a suspense thriller from deep within the struggle for global sanity, at the hands of those perpetrating dark secrecy. Lindauer reveals faces of our national truth few Americans imagine. Chilling, heartbreaking, horrifying and hopeful, EXTREME PREJUDICE offers a depth of historical insight critical to transforming our future. Pay attention.” –Janice Matthews, Director, 911Truth.org

“All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.” Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 – 1860)

TO ORDER CLICK HERE