Posts Tagged ‘Patriot Act’

http://youtu.be/1w5uoGxRFLc

Abby Martin had the guts & smarts to investigate how the Patriot Act attacks whistleblowers. We had a great interview on “Breaking the Set”! Abby gets 5 Gold Stars for asking about the CIA’s advance knowledge of 9/11. This chic’s not afraid of anything!

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http://youtu.be/zV0pl9yiURY

As the second non-Arab American ever indicted on the Patriot Act, I tell you straight up, it can happen to you.

They hit me with secret charges, secret evidence and secret grand jury testimony. They locked me up on Carswell Air Force Base without a Trial or guilty plea.  I was terrified when my demands for a hearing got denied. The military police refused to allow my Uncle, acting as my attorney, to enter Carswell Air Force Base, so I could plan my defense strategy. On the third try, U.S. Marshals were required to flank my Uncle/Attorney at the gates to the base with the Judge on stand by in his courtroom, in order to gain admission to see me.

It was unConstitutional as hell.

They did it to me, regardless of the fact that I love the values of our Country deeply. They did it to me, regardless of the fact that I was dedicated to protecting our society from violence and terrorism. They did it to me, regardless of the fact that I am a passionate activist and fully capable of fighting to defend myself.

I was the first. I will not be the last.  We’ve got to put our country back on track right now.

Or it’s over for all of us.

Friday, 18 May 2012 14:00 By Yana Kunichoff, Truthout | Report

Occupy Chicago(Photo: Zach D. Roberts / GregPalast.com)

A pre-emptive raid by the Chicago Police Department (CPD) on the home of two Occupy Chicago activists may have happened without a search warrant, said the National Lawyers Guild (NLG), and led to the disappearance of nine activists into police custody without charge for almost 24 hours.

“I’d like to stress that we have done nothing wrong,” said Zoe Sigman, an Occupy Chicago activist whose home was raided. “We have been planning to protest NATO and there is nothing illegal about expressing our feelings about a war machine. Now we’re being treated as mere criminals. As if we’re part of an organized crime that they’re trying to take down. Who knows what they’re going to pin on us. We’re terrified.”

Occupy ChicagoA protester, reportedly a street medic by the name of Henry, is arrested by Chicago Police during the National Nurses United rally with Tom Morello in Daley Plaza, Chicago. (Photo: Joe Macaré)The raid of an apartment on Chicago’s Southside Bridgeport neighborhood occurred on Wednesday evening around 11:30 PM. So far, none of the activists have been charged and four were released Friday morning. According to witnesses, the raid was conducted by the Organized Crime Division of the CPD and a warrant produced at the site didn’t have the signature of a judge.

The use of pre-emptive arrests is troublesome, said lawyers following the proceedings.

“It’s actually fairly common at national security events for the police to conduct preempetive actions, so this is distressing but not surprising,” said NLG legal worker Kris Hermes. “We will remain vigilant in trying to keep the city accountable, especially when they have not provided any idea of what they are holding people on.” Hermes continued, “We think the city should immediately dismiss all of the charges and we are urging them to do that,”

The CPD has released claims that the raid recovered Molotov cocktails, though activists said that the equipment is actually for home brewing of beer.

“Occupy Chicago demands the immediate release of the peaceful protesters terrorized by the Chicago Police Department in Wednesday nights raid,” said Rachael Perrotta of the Occupy Chicago Press Committee in a statement. “We are getting a taste here in Chicago of what it’s like to live in a militarized police state, with non-violent demonstrators targeted for expressing their First Amendment Rights and for standing up against the NATO war machine.”

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit to be held in Chicago was designated a National Special Security Event, which puts the Secret Service in charge of “event security”; the FBI in control of “intelligence, counter terrorism, hostage rescue and investigation of incidents of terrorism or other major criminal activities”; and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in charge of “recovery management in the aftermath of terrorist or other major criminal incidents, natural disasters or other catastrophic events,” reported the Indypendent.

A week of action leading up to the summit and connecting local and national injustices to NATO militarization has seen an increased police presence, but this may only be the tip of the iceberg.

At an action against the Keystone XL pipeline Thursday, reported ABC News, “Dozens of uniformed Chicago police stood guard nearby, though they made no arrests. But around the corner a couple blocks away back-ups were apparently standing by. Inside 15 unmarked passenger vans they were dressed in black uniforms with riot gear.”

Police have said that rather than tear gassing entire crowds, they will used more targeted “snatch and grab” tactics.

But these kind of pre-emptive actions are ripe for illegality, said lawyers.

“Snatch and grab” can be used if a person is committing a crime, said John Stainthorp, an attorney with the People’s Law Office. “But, if they’re not actively involved in breaking the law at that time, you cannot extract people. Extracting is an arrest and it doesn’t matter whether you hold them for an hour or ten hours or ten days. If you start to take action against them, [and they’re doing nothing wrong,] that’s illegal.”

Brian Bean, with Occupy Chicago, says that he is not fooled by the CPD “putting on a nice face.” “They will use the force that the state often uses to repress dissent and intimidate protesters,” said Bean, “as we saw in Wednesday’s raid.”

Chicago has one of the most advanced surveillance systems in the country, with cameras that have facial recognition and automatic tracking software.

A leaked document of what the CPD’s policy toward journalists reporting on the protest said:

“Those who follow protesters onto private property to document their actions also will be subject to arrest if laws are broken. Any member of the media who is arrested will have to go through the same booking process as anyone else. Release of equipment depends on what part the equipment played in the events that led to the arrest. There will not be any quick personal recognizance bond just for media members.”

Illinois also has an eavesdropping law which, in some situations, makes the filming of a police officer a crime, but the edict will be suspended for the NATO protests, the leaked document said.

Since the week of action against the NATO summits began, the NLG said that 20 people have been arrested and others have reported being stopped and searched.

But activists say this gives them even more reason to head into the streets.

It’s important to continue protesting, because this tactic was obviously an attempt to intimidate,” said Bean. “We will fight against whatever tactics come out against us and continue to protest.”

Hermes agreed: “We don’t want people to be discouraged from coming out and protesting. We are hoping activists stand up to police intimidation and speak their mind, which they should be allowed to do under the constitution.”

AlterNet / By Steven Rosenfeld

Obama has expanded and fortified many of the Bush administration’s worst policies.

April 18, 2012 |

When Barack Obama took office, he was the civil liberties communities’ great hope. Obama, a former constitutional law professor, pledged to shutter the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and run a transparent and open government. But he has become a civil libertarian’s nightmare: a supposedly liberal president who instead has expanded and fortified many of the Bush administration’s worst policies, lending bipartisan support for a more intrusive and authoritarian federal government.

It started with the 9/11 attacks. Within a week, Congress, including many liberals, gave the White House blanket authority to wage a war on the terrorists. A month after that, Congress passed the USA Patriot Act, authorizing many anti-terrorism measure including expanded surveillance. By mid-November, the White House ordered creation of military tribunals to try terrorists who were not U.S. citizens.

Bush quickly expanded covert operations, creating a shadow arrest, interrogation and detention system based at Guantanamo that violated international law and evaded domestic oversight. While the Supreme Court eventually ruled that detainees have some rights, the precedent that the Constitution does not restrict how a president conducts an endless war against a stateless enemy was firmly planted. In response, groups like the American Civil Liberties Union proposed reforms the newly elected president could make. What few anticipated was how he would embrace, expand and institutionalize many of Bush’s war on terror excesses.

President Obama now has power that Bush never had. Foremost is he can (and has) order the killing of U.S. citizens abroad who are deemed terrorists. Like Bush, he has asked the Justice Department to draft secret memos authorizing his actions without going before a federal court or disclosing them. Obama has continued indefinite detentions at Gitmo, but also brought the policy ashore by signing the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012, which authorizes the military to arrest and indefinitely detain anyone suspected of assisting terrorists, even citizens. That policy, codifying how the Bush treated Jose Padilla, a citizen who was arrested in a bomb plot after landing at a Chicago airport in 2002 and was transferred from civil to military custody, upends the 1878’s Posse Comitatus Act’s ban on domestic military deployment.

Meanwhile, more than a decade after the 9/11 attacks, Washington’s wartime posture has trickled down into many areas of domestic activity—even as some foreign policy experts say the world is a much safer place than it was 20 years ago, as measured by the growth in free-market economies and democratic governments. Domestic law enforcement has been militarized—as most visibly seen by the tactics used against the Occupy protests and also against suspected illegal immigrants, who are treated with brute force and have limited access to judicial review before being deported.

One of Bush’s biggest civil liberties breaches, spying on virtually all Americans via their telecommunications starting in 2003, also has been expanded. Congress authorized the effort in 2006. Two years later, it granted legal immunity to the telecom firms helping Bush—a bill Obama voted for. The National Security Agency is now building its largest data processing center ever, which Wired.com’s James Bamforth reports will go beyond the public Internet to grab data but also reach password-protected networks. The federal government continues to require that computer makers and big Web sites provide access for domestic surveillance purposes. More crucially, the NSA is increasingly relying on private firms to mine data, because, unlike the government, it does not need a search warrant. The Constitution only limits the government searches and seizures.

The government’s endless wartime footing is also seen in its war on whistleblowers. Obama has continued cases brought by Bush, such as going after the “leaker” in the warrantless wiretapping story broken by the New York Times in 2005, as well as the WikiLeaks case, prosecution of Bradley Manning, and others for allegedly mishandling classified materials related to the war on terrorism. Its suppression of war-related information given to journalists extends overseas, where the State Department this month has blocked a visa for a Pakistani critic from speaking in the U.S. The White House also recently pressured Yemen’s leader to jail the reporter who exposed U.S. drone strikes. Meanwhile, the administration has stonewalled Freedom of Information Act requests, particularly the Justice Department, which has issued the secret wartime memos.

How bad is it? Anthony Romero, the ACLU executive director, exclaimed in June 2010 that Obama “disgusted” him. Meanwhile, the most hawkish Bush administration officials have defended and praised Obama.

Last summer, liberal lawyer-journalist Glenn Greenwald tallied a list of Bush warrior endorsements. Jack Goldsmith, the former DOJ officials who approved the torture and domestic spying efforts, wrote in The New Republic in May 2009 that Obama actually was waging a more effective war on terror than Bush.

“The new administration has copied most of the Bush program, has expended some of it, and has narrowed only a bit,” Goldsmith wrote. “Almost all of the Obama changes have been at the level of packaging, argumentation, symbol and rhetoric.” Bush’s final CIA director, General Michael Hayden—whose confirmation Obama opposed as a senator—told CNN there was a “powerful continuity between the 43rd and 44th presidents.” And in early 2011 Vice-President Dick Cheney told NBC News, “He’s learned that what we did was far more appropriate than he ever gave us credit for while he was a candidate.”

(more…)

By Susan Lindauer

Some things are unforgivable in a democracy. A bill moving through Congress, authorizing the military to imprison American citizens indefinitely, without a trial or hearing, ranks right at the top of that list.

I know—I lived through it on the Patriot Act. When Congress decided to squelch the truth about the CIA’s advance warnings about 9/11 and the existence of a comprehensive peace option with Iraq, as the CIA’s chief Asset covering Iraq, I became an overnight threat. To protect their cover-up scheme, I got locked in federal prison inside Carswell Air Force Base, while the Justice Department battled to detain me “indefinitely” up to 10 years, without a hearing or guilty plea. Worst yet, they demanded the right to forcibly drug me with Haldol, Ativan and Prozac, in a violent effort to chemically lobotomize the truth about 9/11 and Iraqi Pre-War Intelligence.

Critically, because my legal case was controlled by civilian Courts, my Defense had a forum to fight back. The Judge was an independent arbiter to hear my grievances. And that made all the difference. If this law on military detentions had been active, my situation would have been hopeless. The Patriot Act was bad enough. Mercifully, Chief Justice Michael B. Mukasey is a preeminent legal scholar who recognized the greater impact of my case. Even so, he faced a terrible choice —declaring me “incompetent to stand trial,” so my case could be killed—or creating dangerous legal precedents tied to secret charges, secret evidence, secret grand jury testimony and indefinite detention—from the Patriot Act’s arsenal of weapons against truth tellers—that would impact all defendants in the U.S. Courts.

It was a hideous choice—The judicial farce was more ugly because it stamped me a “religious maniac” for believing in God—a ludicrous argument. It lined up beautifully, however, with Congress’ desire to bastardize the “incompetence” of Assets engaged in Pre-War Intelligence. Anything to escape responsibility for their own poor decision making.

To this day, it scorches my heart with rage and betrayal. It was unforgivable on so many levels.

And it had nothing to do with fighting terrorism. This was about fighting truth—and protecting powerful leaders in Washington determined to glorify themselves with phony patriotism and media fireworks in the War on Terrorism—a fantasy if there was one.

Those of us with the facts at our fingertips, who could expose leadership fraud and deceptions, had to be destroyed. I had three strikes against me. First off, I had personal knowledge of the CIA’s advance warnings about 9/11, and how Republican leaders thwarted efforts to preempt the attack. Secondly, I had direct knowledge of Iraq’s contributions to the 9/11 investigation, and how Republican leaders rejected financial documents on early Al Qaeda figures like Ramzi Youssef and Sheikh Abdul Rahmon of Egypt and Sheikh al Zawahiri —who replaced Osama bin Laden as Al Qaeda’s leader. That would have shut down the financial pipeline for terrorism, if Washington cared about results. Finally, my team had successfully negotiated a peace framework with Baghdad that would have achieved all objectives in Iraq without firing a shot.

Oh I was a threat to the Washington elite, no doubt. Without the Patriot Act, the Cover Ups of 9/11 and Iraq would have failed. Given normal due process, I would have shouted truth from the rooftops and exposed them all.

Let’s not mince words. Members of Congress who support laws like the Patriot Act and Military Detentions fear the American people deeply. They hate what America stands for. Above all they fear exposure of their mediocrity as our leaders. They are desperate to hide their leadership failures. And so they commit Treason against us— savaging the liberties enshrined in our Constitution to safeguard their access to power, weakening our ability to challenge them openly, building a society of fear. They ply us with buzzwords—like “anti-terrorism” and “national security.” But they are the greatest threat facing our nation today. They are traitors among us.

Terrorism is a buzz-word to quiet outrage over this shredding of the Constitution. Most Americans don’t understand that the Patriot Act has expanded the scope of terrorism to cover any free political speech that challenges Institutions of Authority. Acts of violence are not necessary. The possibility that free speech could weaken public trust in leadership qualifies as the New Sedition. Any political speech that provokes the People to think and question authority can be squashed as a threat to political control.

I was no Traitor. My whole life was dedicated to non-violence—and my specialty was anti-terrorism from 1993 to 2003. My bona fides were the best anywhere. I gave advance warning about the 9/11 attack, the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole in Yemen, and the 1993 World Trade Center attack. When the FBI cracked open my computer, they found proof that my team had run one of the very first investigations of Osama bin Laden in 1998, before the Dar es Salaam/Nairobi bombings. I started negotiations for the Lockerbie Trial with Libya, and preliminary talks on resuming weapons inspections in Iraq.

My life was anti-violence. I was a very real threat, however. I was guilty of possessing inconvenient knowledge powerful enough to persuade voters to throw a lot of deceptive politicians out of Congress.

Military detentions would push America farther into the abyss. First, it eliminates the need for charges against political defendants altogether. And secondly, it transfers decisions about a defendant’s fate away from the oversight of a civilian Judge to a military Sentry and base commander. It’s a complete negation of the Courts.

At a practical level, there are consequences that Americans would never dream possible:

• There’s no requirement for Military Officers to acknowledge that a prison exists inside a military base. Nor can Military officers be compelled to identify individuals who might be detained on the base.

• There’s no guarantee an attorney would be assigned to the accused. Indeed, the Sentry and Commanding Officer would have full authority, individually, to decide whether attorney visits shall be allowed at all. Access to an attorney would be a matter of military discretion, including frequency and duration. The Military Commander or sentry could decide to prohibit an attorney from entering the base altogether, without specifying a reason.

This must be underscored. Civilian Judges provide a fail-safe for defendants under military auspices. Under the proposed law, that protection would be removed. The Commanding Officer of the military base would assume full authority of the Court. The accused inmate would have nowhere to protest any aspect of the detention, or to move towards resolution.

• Since the military alone decides who enters the base, the Sentry would have the power to reject visits by Family or Journalists, if they so choose.

• In straight violation of the 8th Amendment of the Constitution, accused civilians would be denied the right to petition for bail

• Military prisoners might have limited rights to send letters or make phone calls to family or attorneys, at the discretion of the Commanding Officer. The military would have the right to keep a defendant totally incommunicado from the world.

• An accused person would have no automatic rights to recreation outside of the cell. Prisoners could be locked in a 10 X 12 room 24-7, and denied the rights to exercise for one hour in a prison yard. That would be “indefinite,” too.

• Like Bradley Manning, they could be forced to sleep almost naked with the lights on, under 24 hour surveillance, even in the absence of suicide threats.

Don’t bother arguing about it. One of the high points of my legal drama occurred when my fantastic and beloved Uncle Ted Lindauer—a family member— who happened to have 40 years of senior legal experience— jumped into my legal fray in a Herculean effort to restore my freedom.

Three Times Tenacious Uncle Ted Drove 700 Miles (1,000 kms) in Each Direction—from southern Illinois to Fort Worth, Texas. He carried proper identification and proof of his legal standing. He was registered on my visitor’s list, and prison authorities understood that he was functioning as Co-Counsel for my Defense.

On the first and second visits, Ted Lindauer arrived on the weekend during normal visiting hours. Nevertheless, the Sentry swore up and down that there was no prison inside Carswell Air Force Base, and I was not an inmate—

Horrified, Ted Lindauer requested to speak with the Commanding Officer on duty.

Confronted with letters mailed from the prison and Court documents signed by Judge Mukasey, nevertheless, the Sentry and Commanding Officer refused to back down. Both stubbornly denied that I was housed anywhere on their military base.

On the second visit, the Sentry and Commanding Officer had a new excuse. Yeah, there was a prison on Carswell Air Force Base. But there were no visiting hours on weekends. Other prison families stood close by. One after the other, the sentry granted them access to the base to visit their relatives detained at the prison. Yet when Ted Lindauer, a 70 year old man with silver hair, stepped forward, the sentry guard refused.

Ted was furious. He warned the Sentry that my family knows some Generals, too! He insisted on the sanctity of my rights to attorney access, and promised to file a complaint with Judge Mukasey to compel the military to allow this attorney visit to occur.

Ted swore that he would return with U.S. Marshals. And by God, he was coming onto that base.

Thankfully, there was a civilian Judge to back him up. Judge Mukasey raised hell. On the third visit, he did indeed order U.S. Marshals to flank Ted Lindauer at the front gates of Carswell Air Force Base.
Judge Mukasey waited in his Chambers in New York ready to give the order. Only when U.S. Marshals stood before them, ready to forcibly enter the base, did Carswell back down. They stopped pretending there was no prison, that I was not an inmate, and granted my Uncle—a family member and attorney— access to his client.

It’s a cautionary tale. The military is not equipped to handle this type of responsibility. It flies against all of their structure. And it illustrates poignantly why a Civilian Judge is critical to protecting a defendant’s rights when the military has physical jurisdiction.

All of this was occurring at a critical juncture. At that moment, citing the Patriot Act, the Justice Department was arguing that I should be detained “indefinitely” up to 10 years—with no right to a trial or hearing. More horribly still, the Justice Department was demanding the right to forcibly drug me with Haldol—a rhinoceros tranquilizer—until I could be “cured” of knowing the real facts about Iraq and 9/11 and serious leadership failures in the War on Terrorism.

Witness had already told the FBI about my work as an Asset—and my team’s all important advance warnings about 9/11. The Feds understood very precisely what they were hiding—and who would be the losers in Washington, if my story was told.

Because I was denied the right to a hearing, I was blocked from providing that validation to the Court— or the American public—something Republicans on Capitol Hill feared desperately. Without a hearing, the Feds had free rein to savage my reputation with fantastic embellishments, portraying me as a religious maniac. (I freely confess that I have rock solid faith in God. However, the Justice Department played fast and loose with descriptions of my spirituality).

By the end of it, all of my Constitutional rights had been savagely violated— My 1st Amendment rights to freedom of speech and religion; my 4th Amendment protections against illegal searches of my home; my 5th Amendment rights not to be forcibly interrogated by surrogates for the prosecution; my 6th Amendment rights to a speedy trial by a jury of my peers, with the rights to face my accusers and rebut accusations in a public Court of law. The Justice Department even violated my 8th Amendment protections against threats of torture, (forcibly drugging definitely qualifies).

To this day, I cannot believe such abuse could be possible in the United States. I’m a fighter, and I could not stop them. All the Constitutional protections that should have saved me were stripped away. It horrifies me.

No American really understands the preciousness of Liberty until more powerful individuals in the government fight to take away those rights. Then in a blinding flash, you are awed by the magnificence of the Founding Fathers’ vision. What they gave us was extraordinary. It must be protected from tyrants like those in Congress today. They are tyrants who fear and despise us. There is no ambiguity. They are against us.

President Obama must veto this bill or confess his hypocrisy as a champion of liberty. And members of Congress who support military detentions or the Patriot Act must be targeted for defeat in 2012.

They are the greatest threats facing this country today.

They are traitors to freedom. They are Enemies of the Constitution. And they deserve to be branded Enemies of the State.

#####

Susan Lindauer is the author of Extreme Prejudice: The Terrifying Story of the Patriot Act and the Cover Ups of 9/11 and Iraq.

By Susan Lindauer, former U.S. back channel to Iraq
and the second non-Arab American arrested on the Patriot Act

Once upon a time there was a President named George who wanted to be Emperor. (Not a bad idea. He was a lousy President. He really needed a different job.)

President George had traveled to Mexico—once. So he figured the whole world was pretty much like Texas. He thought about it for, oh, five minutes. What he needed was a country far, far away to invade. Surely those foreigners would be charmed by his folksy swagger (being more primitive and all). They’d appreciate him more than those Gosh Darn Americans, who had awfully high expectations of a President. Why, he imagined these foreigners would bow and scrape and wow over his every golf shot.

So he pulled out a map. And he saw Iraq— with a “Q.” And he asked one of his ministers what he’d heard about this place. The minister’s eyes got bright: “Ohhh,” he said. “Iraq’s got oil and pipelines. We could make some serious profits if we grabbed Baghdad, and tossed its rulers in the trash can of history.”

Well, if there was one thing President George understood, it was oil profits. That’s what paid for those Black Helicopters ferrying rich folks to private parties in Houston. Absolutely everybody who was anybody had a helo-pad on their ranch. So when George heard about Iraq’s oil, he saw his destiny. He would be Emperor of the World from Texas to Baghdad.

President George called all his Republican friends to a Grand Old Party, where he proclaimed his vision. He promised to share Iraq’s oil wealth (so they could ride in helicopters and private jets, too). And he started handing out military contracts by the fistful.

And the Republicans declared, “This is a Democracy. We vote to make you Emperor.”

And George answered, “Amen.”

There was just one pesky Little Female who would not shut her mouth! He called her “Miss Bossy Boots,” and he hated her like nobody else. She was T-R-O-U-B-L-E!!! See, she’d been a covert back channel to Iraqi diplomats at the United Nations in New York years before he ever got to be President. And she shrieked from the rooftops and banged on every door on Capitol Hill, warning this War with Iraq would be catastrophic.

(more…)

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.

By Susan Lindauer

If only I’d known Julian Assange, everything would have been different.
Mine was a spook’s world of black ops and counter-terrorism. The real stuff—not color coded threats. For a decade I performed as a covert back channel to Libya and Iraq at the United Nations in support of anti-terrorism. My special access made me one of the very few Assets covering Baghdad before the War. Our team started talks for the Lockerbie Trial with Libyan diplomats. We also held preliminary talks to resume the weapons inspections with Iraq’s Ambassador, Dr. Saeed Hasan. Once Baghdad agreed to rigorous U.S. conditions for transparency in the inspections, I notified the Security Council myself, and within 72 hours the U. N invited Iraq to attend formal talks to ratify the technical language. By then it was a done deal. Contrary to official reports, Iraq always welcomed the return of weapons inspectors as a necessary step to ending the sanctions.  Ordinary people just didn’t know it.
My world was “black.” Off radar. So deeply secretive that my father, brother, aunts and cousins had no knowledge of my work in Washington. I operated in absolute secrecy.

My bona fides in anti-terrorism were no less outstanding for my lack of public acclaim. I discovered advance intelligence about the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole in Yemen, and the first World Trade Center attack in 1993. My team conducted one of the very first investigations of Osama bin Laden and his cohorts—then known as the Inter-Arab group— six months before the Embassy bombings in Dar es Salaam/Nairobi in 1998.

Most provocatively by far, my team warned about a 9/11 scenario involving airplane hijackings and a strike on the World Trade Center throughout the spring and summer of 2001. My CIA handler responded aggressively, ordering me to threaten Iraqi diplomats with War, in the event they failed to supply intelligence to thwart the attack.

If that wasn’t politically dangerous enough, I solicited Iraq’s cooperation with the 9/11 investigation—a cause Baghdad embraced enthusiastically. Oh yes, Iraq was one of our best sources on anti-terrorism throughout the ’90s. You didn’t know that either, did you?

If only I’d known Julian Assange.

A Time for Openness

For all of the political scolding, there comes a time when secrecy becomes its own greatest handicap in the ultimate game to protect global security. Informed consent creates power for the people to make better decisions that impact the welfare of the total community. Just like government leaders require a depth of information to guide them, the people require it, too—so they can provide better instructions to government leaders representing their interests.

Conversely, interrupting that flow of information robs the community of the power to make the wisest possible choices. That’s a major drawback of secrecy. There comes a point where secrecy compromises the community’s capability to evaluate events and trends, in order to protect its own best interests. Politicians are loath to admit that, not surprisingly. They’re most often the ones invoking secrecy as a method of hiding the incompetence of their policies. Lately, that’s become a serious problem in Washington, as elected leaders try to dodge voters’ questions.

That’s not just lip service, tragically. Three examples prove my point most painfully, that a wider breadth of knowledge for the people would have substantially improved their ability to shape government policy, with better outcomes for national security.

Exposing the failure of anti-terrorism policy

The first is obvious: My team’s 9/11 warnings.

Of course the intelligence community anticipated the 9/11 attacks! EXTREME PREJUDICE reveals the whole context of our 9/11 warnings from May, 2001 onwards. It infuriates me that any politician would dare to deny it! Political fraud like that dishonors the community—and the dead.

Worst of all, people know the government lied, and that has festered like a wound in the American heart. People have lost confidence in our leaders’ capability to speak truthfully because of 9/11—and that hurts the fabric of our democracy. It particularly offends Americans to recognize that politicians could be so cynical as to demagogue the issue for personal attention, and then use secrecy and intelligence classifications to prevent the electorate from adequately evaluating their leadership performance on anti-terrorism overall.

If government honestly makes mistakes, they could be forgiven. But when the government actively creates a patchwork of deception to thwart public knowledge, though they clearly see they have created a crisis in the psyche of our nation, in my opinion, they have no business occupying positions of leadership at all.

It’s serious reason why, despite my life amidst such black secrecy, I would have told Julian Assange everything, so that somebody could give that information to the people honestly. All of America and the world community would have rested easier for having that truth.

Not only did the government lie about the 9/11 warnings, in my opinion as a participant, the 9/11 investigation was thwarted at every turn—mostly to conceal offers of assistance from Baghdad. Saddam’s government offered a windfall of intelligence on terrorism, including financial records on Al Qaeda figures. And the U.S. refused to take it, amounting to false promises and false leadership on a matter of genuine importance to national security.
If only I had known Julian Assange. The world could have accepted the same documents that Tony Blair and George Bush spurned.

Unhappily, the government’s decision to leave that terrorist money in play—mostly from global heroin trafficking—stands out as the single most dangerous decision in the War on Terrorism. That money is being deployed as a weapon in conflicts all over the world today—from Yemen and Indonesia to India, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Yet thanks to our great secrecy laws, the public has lacked the necessary information to challenge that decision to forego Iraq’s financial records on Al Qaeda figures. Instead, the American people have bought into the myth of outstanding leadership performance in the fight against terrorism, without ever knowing if it’s true.

Here we come to the third and most tragic example of abusive secrecy that I discuss in great depth in EXTREME PREJUDICE. Forced to rely on the government’s word of honor before the War, the public failed to discover a range of non-military options dealing with Iraq, which required no deployment of troops, whatsoever.

The corporate media has never reported the existence of our comprehensive peace framework, so even the most sophisticated opinion leaders have no comprehension that the U.S. and Britain could easily have resolved their conflicts with Iraq, without firing a single missile or killing a single Iraqi child.

Oh, politicians in Washington were thoroughly debriefed on all its components, developed in a two year period before the War, and faithfully reported to White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card in 11 progress reports on the success of our back channel. Andy Card happened to be my second cousin. For all of their denials afterwards, members of Congress in both parties understood that the peace option was rock solid to the very last days before the invasion.

If only I’d known Julian Assange– Empowering the global community with knowledge of the choices and options for peace in the Iraqi conflict would have given the people more power to compel the U.S. and British governments to accept the will of the people.

Unfortunately, there was no Julian Assange. I had to trust in formal channels to raise these points on Capitol Hill. And I quickly saw proof their bad faith. Thirty days after I phoned the offices of Senate leaders, John McCain and Trent Lott, requesting to testify before Congress, I awoke to find FBI agents pounding on my front door, with a warrant for my arrest on the Patriot Act—a frightening arsenal of secret charges, secret evidence, secret grand jury testimony, and secret attorney debriefings.

Because there was no Julian Assange to  expose these major deceptions, I got locked in prison on a Texas military base, while politicians in Washington and London reinvented the story of Pre-War Intelligence—focusing blame onto my shoulders as the “incompetent” Asset who failed to correct mistakes in pre-War assumptions. I watched it all on prison television.

In the absence of public knowledge, politicians manipulated silence and secrecy to their own advantage. They abused secrecy classifications to prevent the public from discovering their own weakness and policy mistakes.
Without public examination of their actual performance, they continued to promote policies, which have caused grave harm to American security, and perhaps most ironically of all, undermined the War on Terrorism. Voters have been denied the fundamental right to hold leaders accountable for their actions and decision making, which is critical to the well being of democracy.

And all because there was no Julian Assange to help protect American soldiers from easily avoidable battle deployments, triple tours of duty, amputations, head injuries, paralysis, and post traumatic stress disorder.

There was no Julian Assange to expose opportunities for peace that would have saved Iraqi families and children from an onslaught of suicide bombings, sectarian warfare, starvation, and the loss of their future.
There was no Julian Assange to guarantee that non-military options for anti-terrorism would be used to maximum impact for the world community—reducing terrorism and closing down the cash pipeline without water boarding, rendition, Guantanamo, wasteful wars, or seizing Islamic charitable donations.

Nobody could stop leaders in Washington and London from lying to all of us pretty much non-stop. Nobody could expose the fraud of using secrecy and the aura of intelligence to undercut national security at all levels.

The world is not better off today because secrecy won out over accountability. Global security is weaker not stronger. An organ vital to a healthy system of governance has been cut down.

And so perhaps you can understand why I shake my head alarmed over the attacks on Wiki-leaks and Julian Assange by those who pretend to defend national security, those who, in promoting their own self interests, have selfishly undermined the foundation of national security for all countries for the foreseeable future.

If only there’d been a Julian Assange, the world would have been spared so much pain. Life would have turned out differently for all of us. If only.

-END-

This article may be reproduced in whole or part, with attribution of authorship and  a link to this web site.

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)

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