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Archive for the ‘September 11’ Category

Yes, remember 9/11… including the one in Chile

Posted by Charles II on September 11, 2013

No one who was over the age of 3 in September 2001 will forget our 9/11. And we shouldn’t. Al Qaida committed an outrageous act of butchery, targeting mostly civilians, purely to terrorizing Americans. This day, like December 7th, 1941, will live in infamy.

But there was another September 11th when terrorists killed thousands. And an American president, in effect, ordered it:


PETER KORNBLUH: Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger launched a preemptive strike against Salvador Allende [President of Chile in 1972]. They decided to stop him from being inaugurated as president of Chile. He hadn’t even set foot in the Moneda [Presidential] Palace, when Nixon and Kissinger just simply decided to change the fate of Chile. Nixon instructed the CIA to make the Chilean economy scream, to use as many men as possible. The first plan was to actually keep Allende from being inaugurated as president. And then, when that plan failed, after the assassination of the Chilean commander-in-chief that the United States was behind, General René Schneider [i.e., the US had Schneider assassinated because he refused to go along with a coup], Kissinger then went to Nixon and said, “Allende is now president. The State Department thinks we can coexist with him, but I want you to make sure you tell everybody in the U.S. government that we cannot, that we cannot let him succeed, because he has legitimacy. He is democratically elected. And suppose other governments decide to follow in his footstep, like a government like Italy? What are we going to do then? What are we going to say when other countries start to democratically elect other Salvador Allendes? We will—the world balance of power will change,” he wrote to Nixon in a secret document, “and our interests in it will be changed fundamentally.”

He [Nixon] had aides who were saying to him, “It’s unbecoming for the United States to intervene in a country where we are not—our national security interests are not threatened.” And he pushed them away. “Nope, we can’t—we can’t let this imitative phenomena—we have to stop Allende from being successful.” He had aides that came to him the day after the coup and said, “I’m getting reports that there’s 10,000 bodies in the streets. People are being slaughtered.” And he said, “Go tell Congress that this new military regime is better for our interests than the old government in Chile.” And we have this fabulous document of him talking to Pinochet, a meeting in 1976, in which his aides have told him, “You should tell Pinochet to stop violating human rights.” And instead he says to Pinochet, “You did a great service to the West in overthrowing Allende. We want to support you, not hurt you.

Never forget when the terrorists came to America.

Never forget when they came from America.

Posted in Latin America, September 11, terrorism | Comments Off on Yes, remember 9/11… including the one in Chile

Who Ended the Cold War? Russia and East Germany. (Sorry, Reagan Fetishists.)

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 6, 2011

The Politico, one of the many vectors for creating and maintaining conservative dominance of the media and cultural conversations in the US, has its obligatory puff piece on Mister Death Squadder this morning:

Bently Elliott, Reagan’s top speechwriter in his first term, recalled an interview his old boss gave at the end of his time in the White House.

“He didn’t say he wanted to be remembered as the president who turned around the economy or the president who brought down the Evil Empire,” Elliott recalled. “He said he wanted to be remembered as ‘the president who made the American people believe in themselves again.’”

Except he did neither.

Contrary to conservative myth, Ronald Reagan didn’t do jack to bring down Russia or East Germany; they were falling apart all by themselves. Even the aid given to the mujahideen in Afghanistan — aid that helped sustain them during the long war of attrition that sapped Russia’s strength and was the final blow to the régime — was not essential to the mujahideen’s success; the Saudis, conservative Sunnis similar to the mujahideen, were already funding them quite extensively, as were Pakistan, China, and various other nations and entities, and would have given them even more aid had we not done so.

In fact, not only did Reagan not bring down Russia, it is a well-documented fact that neither he nor his CIA knew what was going to happen until it was already happening. Just as the CIA of today was caught totally off-guard by the lightning-fast spreading of revolutionary fervor in various Middle Eastern dictatorships, they were caught totally off guard by the equally-rapid collapse of the Soviet bloc, as former CIA official Mel Goodman relates:

The collapse of the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union created an entirely new international setting and totally surprised U.S. policymakers, the Central Intelligence Agency providing no strategic warning. President George Bush stated that he had no idea that the Berlin Wall was coming down and was surprised by the coup attempt against Mikhail Gorbachev in
1991.[1] His national security adviser, Brent Scowcroft, could not recall receiving any CIA warning about the Soviet demise. President Ronald Reagan’s last national security adviser and Bush’s chairman of the joint chiefs, General Colin Powell, recorded in his memoirs that CIA specialists “could no longer anticipate events much better than a
layman watching television.”[2].

Former CIA Director Admiral Stansfield Turner recorded that the agency’s “corporate view missed by a mile” and that it “should not gloss over the enormity of the failure to forcecast the magnitude of the Soviet crisis.”[3]

The memoirs of former Secretary of State George Shultz offer the best evidence of CIA’s failure to track the Soviet decline and the revolutionary impact of Gorbachev’s leadership. Shultz believed that “CIA analysis was distorted by strong views about
policy” and accused CIA director William Casey with providing “bum dope” to the president. He told national security adviser Frank Carlucci in 1987 that, even “when it became evident that the Soviet Union was in fact changing”, the CIA line was
that the changes wouldn’t really make a difference. [4]

Shultz had “no confidence” in the CIA and warned the White House that the agency was “unable to perceive that change was coming in the Soviet Union.”[5].

He accused acting CIA director Robert Gates with trying to “manipulate me” and reminded him that the CIA was “usually wrong” about Moscow and had dismissed Gorbachev as “just talk, just another Soviet attempt to deceive us.”[6]. Shultz,
Turmoil and Triumph, p. p. 864.

CIA’s failure to recognize the weakness of the Soviet Union and the importance of Gorbachev had serious implications for U.S. interests. The Reagan administration unnecessarily increased defense spending, dragged its feet on arms control, and missed opportunities to resolve regional confrontations. The tab for CIA funding and support for Islamic militants in order to drive the Soviets out of Afghanistan now includes the bombing of the World Trade Center in New York and attacks on U.S. bases in Saudi Arabia.

Oh, yes: The brave mujahideen the CIA helped fund? Osama bin Laden was one of them, as were the persons who would go on to become the Taliban rulers of Afghanistan. Ironically enough, Condoleeza Rice, as an alleged specialist on the subject of Soviet Russia, has tried to engage in some classic neocon revisionism by claiming that she and her PNAC buddies knew all along that the Soviet involvement in Afghanistan was what would weaken and eventually bring down the USSR, all the while not recognizing that Osama bin Laden was and is using that very same game plan against us by keeping us bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan. (As Mel Goodman points out, she too was totally taken by surprise by the 9/11 attacks, attacks even the CIA saw coming and about which they had tried in vain to warn Bush and his neocon friends.) And make no mistake, we’re still in deep up to our hips in Iraq, except it’s through the use of “private security firms” (aka privateers or mercenaries) like Blackwater (now Xe), whose troop levels are harder to ascertain than those of the Army, Marines, Air Force or Navy.

Bin Laden knew he could easily provoke the Reagan-Bush PNAC crowd into an armed response to a terrorist attack (as opposed to the far more sensible and effective response by Bill Clinton to an earlier attack on the World Trade Center, a response that actually collared the perpetrators and didn’t inflame the Middle East against us). He knew he could easily lure them into a ruinous two-front war even as Bush’s tax cuts for the rich were wrecking America’s ability to sustain the expense of these wars. It’s almost as if PNAC and the George W. Bush administration were run by Al Qaeda sleeper cell agents, so closely did they follow bin Laden’s plans for their behavior.

(Crossposted at Renaissance Post.

Posted in Bush, BushCo malfeasance, Busheviks, Condolezza Rice, September 11, Silly Republicans, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Petraeus Must Be Wanting To Slug McChrystal Right Now

Posted by Phoenix Woman on June 24, 2010

Far from allowing Petraeus to advance his chances of becoming president, Stanley’s incessant insubordination has in all likelihood quashed any chance Petraeus had at sitting at the big desk in the Oval Office. Here’s how:

I firmly believe that McChrystal has been bucking to get booted since at least last September — remember folks, this is NOT the first time he’s been insubordinate — because even though Obama’s given him everything he wanted, things haven’t magically improved in Afghanistan. Not when we’re paying the Taliban $15,000 a truck to let us supply ourselves before we shoot at them.

So long as Petraeus was associated with Iraq, where (thanks to the truce with the Shiite leaders) things are going a lot better, he gets to look golden. But now that he’s been forced to reassume responsibility for Afghanistan — and make no mistake, he developed the policy that McChrystal was implementing; Petraeus oversaw the writing of a 2006 US counterinsurgency manual that was the basis for McChrystal’s COIN strategy in Afghanistan — two things will happen:

1) He is automatically out of the running for 2012. He can’t be running things on the ground in AfPak and running an election campaign at home. Plus, it will be harder for him to sell any illusory progress as the UN has a reporting program in place that can and will undercut any efforts he makes towards bullshittery.

It will take him the better part of a year just to try to figure out how to pull out of Afghanistan without it looking like we (as did the Brits and Russians before us) are fleeing after having got our asses kicked by the natives. Then it will take him a year to implement that CYA strategy, by which time it’s the middle of 2012 and he’ll have missed nearly all of primary season. This is assuming that he gets every possible break going his way, which he won’t. It’s more likely that he’ll spend 2010 and 2011 not-so-subtly whining about how he’s not getting support from the White House even though Obama will be giving him everything he says he needs.

2) He is likely out for 2016 and 2020 as well. He can’t dodge the inevitable stink of failure that will stick to him no matter how much he tries to scrub it off. In fact, he may well still be in Afghanistan and thus unable to run no matter what. And even if by some miracle he avoids the blame for Afghanistan or manages to eventually rewrite or suppress history, he can’t run in 2024 because by that time he’ll be seventy-two years old, if he’s still alive by then.

This is a tacit admission on President Obama’s part that Afghanistan has just ate up another empire. He’s throwing Petraeus at it, forcing him to own the COIN policy he originated, precisely because Obama doesn’t think it’s going to work — and in the meantime Obama has managed to dispose of the biggest potential Republican threat to his reelection.

Posted in 2012, Afghanistan, Obama Administration, Republicans, September 11, terrorism | 10 Comments »

The NYT, delivering ancient history as news

Posted by Charles II on March 8, 2008

The NYT has long been famous for producing excellent news reports on events… a decade or so after it would have mattered. Now Philip Shenon of the NYT has produced a book that tells us the critical information that would surely have kept Bush to one term… and, since we have a free press, you can read about it– in the Sydney Morning Herald (via Raw Story)

  • ” “more than 40 presidential briefings presented to Bush from January 2001 through to September 10, 2001, included references to bin Laden….”
  • ” [911 Commission Chief of Staff] Zelikow made it clear to the team’s investigators that Clarke should not be believed, that his testimony would be suspect.”
  • ” Repeatedly in 2001, Clarke had gone to Rice and others in the White House and pressed them to move… The threat, Clarke was arguing, was as dire as anything that he or the CIA had ever seen.”
  • “[Commission historian Warren] Bass told colleagues that he gasped when he found a memo written by Clarke to Rice on September 4, 2001… in which Clarke seemed to predict what was just about to happen. … The note was terrifying in its prescience.”
  • “Bass made it clear to colleagues that he believed Zelikow was interfering in his work for reasons that were overtly political – intended to shield the White House, and Rice in particular…”
  • ” Much as the staff felt beaten down by Zelikow, so did the other Democratic commissioners. By the end, they had given up the fight to document the more serious failures of Bush, Rice, and others in the Administration in the months before September. Zelikow would never have permitted it. Nor, they realised, would Kean and Hamilton. “

Although the SMH is not specific on when Warren Bass discovered the Clarke memo and threatened to resign over Zelikow’s politically-motivated suppression of key facts, we know it was before July 22, 2004, when the Commission released its report… plenty of time for the American people to be informed that one of the candidates for president was a complete incompetent who was gifted only at suppressing facts that would have cost him the election. And the American people owe special thanks to Lee Hamilton– and the New York Times– for having helped him in that.

Posted in BushCo malfeasance, Media machine, mediawhores, September 11, World Trade Center | 1 Comment »

Allegation: 911 Report was tampered with

Posted by Charles II on January 31, 2008

This by way of Brad DeLong‘s Semi-Daily Journal. Justin Rood, who ABC News has wisely hired, reports:

The former executive director of the 9/11 Commission denies explosive charges of undisclosed ties to the Bush White House or interference with the panel’s report.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Constitutional crisis, Karl Rove, September 11, terrorism | 7 Comments »

The Iron Anniversary

Posted by Charles II on September 11, 2007

Six years ago, this country was struck in the worst act of terrorism since the bombing of Tulsa. Many compared it to an act of war, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. And yet, it was not an act of war, since the perpetrators were not soldiers or sailors or airmen, but individuals acting on behalf of an extremist ideology. Our failure to understand the difference between fighting a war and counterterrorism would lead us into disastrous decisions.

For the first hours, we feared that up to 50,000 might have perished in the World Trade Center. We did not know whether the strike on the Pentagon might have decimated our military leadership. We had no reason for certainty that Al Qaida had not have left behind an even nastier surprise, waiting for our military to be dispersed abroad before releasing a biological weapon or even a “dirty bomb” to wreak havoc. We were lucky they had not planned their moves ahead.

It was in those first days and weeks, while most were in shock, that our civil liberties were taken, our national treasury looted, our military set on a path which has already done great harm to its capability to fight war: by alienating potential allies, by weakening the economic base on which the military machine rests, and by degrading the readiness of its men and materiel. Our fear and our arrogance would lead us into disastrous decisions.

Iron is the traditional gift for the sixth year of marriage, and Eris married we have. What have we won for six years of conflict? Iraq and Afghanistan remain unstable, filled with violence and criminality. Our loved ones are stationed in harm’s way. Our nation is bitterly divided. Our energy security is diminished. Our treasury is depleted. Russia and China view us as a failing hegemon, and both have begun to challenge us. Even if one approves of the American empire, this is an unparalleled record of failure.

None of the processes of national renewal that the Framers envisioned have served. Our political establishment has shown itself to be corrupt and indecisive. Our courts prostrate themselves before the Executive. Our press is ridiculous.

We the people are all that stand between this nation and the abyss. On this iron anniversary, may we learn that ignorance, fear, and arrogance are our worst enemies.

Posted in September 11, terrorism | 3 Comments »

I Couldn’t Have Said It Better Myself

Posted by MEC on July 24, 2007

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From the Albuquerque Tribune:

Editorial: It’s time to stop accepting Bush’s failures

Attentive Americans have figured out since Sept. 11, 2001, and the Homeland Security Advisory System of colors was introduced that it always seemed the threat level was raised whenever some otherwise unfavorable administration news was occurring.


But maybe from the people’s perspective – those 70 percent or so of Americans who now want the United States out of Iraq – the timing is the perfect storm. The convergence is amazing for those who want to spin the news right back at an administration that:

Has obsessed over Iraq, which posed no threat to the United States when it was invaded.

Has ignored al-Qaida’s growth and resurgence in Pakistan and, perhaps, parts of Afghanistan.

Hasn’t a clue where Osama bin Laden is.

Continues to represent the civil war in Iraq as a terrorist threat to the United States.

Insists in the face of the brutal realities on the ground, and in its own reports and assessments, that the United States and/or the Iraqis are making progress.

One of the blunt realities of this week’s al-Qaida threat assessment, which found the terrorist group “considerably operationally stronger” and “regrouped to an extend not seen since 2001,” should be that Bush’s policies not only permitted this to happen by waging an unnecessary and all-consumptive war in Iraq, but it also created a grand opportunity for al-Qaida to do battlefield training during our four-year occupation of Iraq.


Do Americans feel any safer approaching the sixth anniversary of 9/11, given the dismal performance of Homeland Security during and after Hurricane Katrina? Not to mention, of course, that two years after that gruesome tragedy, the inexcusable reality remains that much of New Orleans and the Katrina-afflicted Gulf Coast look like they belong in Iraq, not the American South.


It is not about accepting failure in Iraq anymore. It is about recognizing and changing the policies that have utterly failed our soldiers, failed the people of Iraq and continue to fail the American people.

Posted in madness of King George, real journalism, September 11 | 1 Comment »

Bush and Giuliani Lied; People Died

Posted by MEC on July 18, 2007

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And more people are going to die because the Bush Administration lied about the dangers of the dust from the World Trade Center.

Inhalation of dust-laden air has been implicated in at least two deaths — from lung inflammation and scarring — and connected to the respiratory illnesses and even cancers of thousands working and living within miles of Ground Zero, according to medical studies.

Mount Sinai Medical Center researchers found 69 percent of the nearly 10,000 first responders they examined had new or worsened lung problems after September 11, while doctors at New York University School of Medicine documented these problems in lower Manhattan residents.


Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democratic who headed a House of Representatives hearing on the issue in June, said the Environmental Protection Agency issued falsely reassuring statements about air safety and asbestos levels.

This led first responders to work with inadequate protective equipment and New Yorkers to return to “homes, schools and workplaces that had not been properly tested.”


An August 2003 report by the EPA’s inspector general found that some of these statements were made without scientific evidence, and also implicated the White House in mitigating health warnings.

The article doesn’t mention presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani’s role in this scandal, but it should.

Posted in BushCo malfeasance, environment, health issues, Rudy Giuliani, September 11, World Trade Center | 3 Comments »

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