A small part of the Great Conversation . . . Edition : Wednesday, January 3, 2018. Your comments are welcome on all posts -- at the new site! . . . Where we will still keep it civil, friendly, and intelligent!
In the wake of the alleged killing of Osama Bin Laden, there have been renewed justifications of the use of torture and so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques" as having been necessary to discovering him and bringing him to justice. (Justice?) These justifications, sometimes coming from highly placed, unrepentant sources in neoconservative and national security elements of the Government, have had the desired and expected result of enthusing too many of the pro-violence people of this country that they were "right all along."
Senator John McCain spoke to the issue of torture this past week on the floor of the United States Senate, and -- I think courageously -- countered these sources of misinformation and called them out. (You can quickly read the transcript of his speech here, or watch the 22-minute video here.) Particularly he rebuked former Bush Attorney General Michael Mukasey with these words:
"Many advocates of these techniques have asserted their use on terrorists in our custody, particularly Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, revealed the trail to bin Laden--a trail which had gone cold in recent years but would now lead to his destruction. The former Attorney General of the United States, Michael Mukasey, recently claimed that 'the intelligence that led to bin Laden ..... began with a disclosure from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who broke like a dam under the pressure of harsh interrogation techniques that included waterboarding. He loosed a torrent of information--including eventually the nickname of a trusted courier of bin Laden.' That is false."
I was going to say that I am horrified to think that a man holding such views as Mukasey (see them here) -- philosophically reprehensible as well as factually false -- was ever the chief law enforcement officer in our government, but I am not horrified. I am angry. I am angry at the Bush Administration for nominating such a man, whose pro-torture, pro-wiretapping, pro-Patriot-Act views were well known -- indeed, apparently qualified him uniquely for the nomination.
And I am angry at the United States Senate for confirming him to replace the equally unacceptable Alberto Gonzales. Though it must be said that this was a close vote; and it must further be said that the vocal opposition to his nomination came preponderantly from the liberals in the Senate.
Where were the Constitution-loving conservatives? They were busy screwing the Bill of Rights. Where was the civil-liberties-loving Jewish political community? It was split, for many reasons worth some research, if you have the time. Whatever your own political inclinations are, you can see the complete roll call here in the government records, and find out how your favorites voted.
But I digress. The important, encouraging thing (to me) is that Senator McCain has not let this matter rest, and is taking a stance that the bi-partisan Establishment doesn't want to hear. Whatever his limitations may be, at least here he has found his voice.
And he has done his homework. He asked for the facts from Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, and this is what he says he learned from him:
"With so much misinformation being fed into such an essential public debate as this one, I asked the Director of Central Intelligence, Leon Panetta, for the facts, and I received the following information: "The trail to bin Laden did not begin with a disclosure from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who was waterboarded 183 times. We did not first learn from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed the real name of bin Laden's courier, or his alias, Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti--the man who ultimately enabled us to find bin Laden. The first mention of the name Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, as well as a description of him as an important member of al-Qaida, came from a detainee held in another country. The United States did not conduct this detainee's interrogation, nor did we render him to that country for the purpose of interrogation. We did not learn Abu Ahmed's real name or alias as a result of waterboarding or any 'enhanced interrogation technique' used on a detainee in U.S. custody. None of the three detainees who were waterboarded provided Abu Ahmed's real name, his whereabouts, or an accurate description of his role in al-Qaida. "In fact, not only did the use of 'enhanced interrogation techniques' on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed not provide us with key leads on bin Laden's courier, Abu Ahmed, it actually produced false and misleading information. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed specifically told his interrogators that Abu Ahmed had moved to Peshawar, got married, and ceased his role as an al-Qaida facilitator--which was not true, as we now know. All we learned about Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti through the use of waterboarding and other 'enhanced interrogation techniques' against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was the confirmation of the already known fact that the courier existed and used an alias."
Thanks for standing up on this one, Senator McCain. Thanks for not letting the lies pass unchallenged.
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Comments pro, con, and otherwise are always welcome.
A couple of days ago, this blogspot that I use was unavailable to me for a couple of hours, while my hosts' (Google's) supercomputers were doing what they call maintenance. When they were finished, the site reappeared intact -- except that my most recent update of the "Passing of OBL" post had been replaced with an earlier version. A paragraph containing a link, and at least one recent comment, were lost.
No, I do not suspect any form of foul play, since the missing link and comment were of a like kind with those that remain: civil, friendly, legal, etc, etc. I imagine that some glitch occurred, and the computer algorithms automatically reinstated the most recent cached version when the current version of the post was lost.
It reminded me, though, that we communicate with each other on the Internet only by the permission of the Powers That Be. I am, like you, at the mercy of unknown and unknowable supervisors and technicians and algorithms and policies that are as good as they are, and no better.
This site could be hijacked. I could be misrepresented; you could be ignored. There is a lot of garbage flying around on the net -- the produce of souls and machinery, either malevolent or clumsy, who, like virtual poltergeists, throw stuff here and there for whatever reason. For example, every few days, some spam gibberish appears in the comments area (it appears to be machine-generated), and the automatic spam filters remove and save it for my inspection; but occasionally they will mark as spam a perfectly legitimate human comment. When I find them, I restore them. But I, and you, have no way of knowing if other comments never even appear. (Unless you write a comment and it doesn't show up here.)
This blog could disappear in a moment -- for some good reason, or for some bad reason, or for no reason at all. Just be aware.
This post is going to be a work in progress -- that is, I intend to add to it and revise it as more information becomes available. But I am in the early stages of researching this, and I want to catch-and-release information while it is still fresh and timely.
You be the judge of the reliability of this information. But also, see my post on the Murder of John Kennedy: A Citizen's Lessons, (another cover-story that has taken hundreds of researchers decades to unravel), for some thoughts about how one might evaluate information.
With that in mind, I am going to post some significant links; many provided by friends and readers at this site. They are roughly in order from the oldest (perhaps most valuable because they are completely untainted by current spin) to the most recent (which may include un-sifted information). I encourage as many as can to join with commentary and links of their own.
@ : Forbidden Truth. I am researching this book published by St. Martin's Press in 2002. Much detail by two reporters about the duplicity that preceded and followed the invasion of Afghanistan in the fall of 2001 immediately after the September 11 operation.
@ : Magazine Runs What It Calls Obama's Will. Posted at CNN website, October 16, 2002. Quotes extensively from the purported will, dated December 14, 2001. Said to have been published by Al Majalla, an Arab news magazine.
@ : Kevin Barrett interviews professor Bruce Lawrence of Duke University, who says that the "Bin Laden confession tapes" are bogus, and that knowledgeable US national-security insiders admit this (off the record, of course). Interview was in the time frame near February 2007. You can listen to the audio file; less than five minutes.
@ : Osama bin Laden: Dead or Alive? Published in 2009, this book by David Ray Griffin gives persuasive arguments and evidence that OBL died in December, 2001. I have read this book; I have met David Ray Griffin personally and am impressed that he is a knowledgeable and courageous man. You can go to his website, David Ray Griffin. He has up-to-date commentary here.
@ : Top US Government Insider: Bin Laden died in 2001, 9/11 a false flag. On Prison Planet website. References Dr. Stephen R. Pieczenik, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State under under Nixon, Ford, and Carter, who is said to have stated that OBL died sometime in late 2001, apparently from complications of Marfan Syndrome. OBL was known to have been hospitalized in Dubai in July 2001, where he was visited by CIA physicians.
You will notice that I emphasize information that supports my own strong conviction that OBL is long dead. I think this has been a long-running "Emmanuel Goldstein" operation (read or remember George Orwell's 1984). Contrary evidence and viewpoints are most welcome, of course.
But if. If we agree that the official story is almost certainly pure b.s., why is it being released at this time? Primarily for American consumption for reelection or other political purposes? Or for world consumption; if so, why?
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Your thoughts most welcome.
Original post May 4, 2011. Three links (darker violet color) added May 8.